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FORUM-ASIA calls for fair elections in Taiwan

The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) has issued a clarion call for the preservation of democratic processes in Taiwan’s general election on Saturday (13 Jan).

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In the run-up to Taiwan’s pivotal general election tomorrow (13 Jan), the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) has issued a clarion call for the preservation of democratic processes.

The election, a significant event for the nation, will determine its President and Vice President, alongside members of the Legislative Yuan.

Taiwan, recognized as the sole Asian country with an ‘open’ civic space by the CIVICUS Monitor, stands as a beacon of hope in a region grappling with human rights and democratic challenges. This reputation adds a layer of significance to the upcoming elections, which are marred by contentious issues such as economic policies, environmental concerns, and the delicate cross-strait relations with China.

In the lead-up to this political milestone, Taiwan has witnessed a worrying surge in disinformation targeting voters.

This onslaught of misleading information poses a serious threat to the integrity of the electoral process. In response, FORUM-ASIA, a network of 85 member organizations across 23 countries in Asia, has underscored the urgency of safeguarding fundamental democratic rights. These include the right to vote, freedom of expression, access to information, and the liberty to associate with political parties and organizations.

The Executive Director of FORUM-ASIA, Mary Aileen Diez-Bacalso, emphasized the critical nature of the election process as the foundation of democracy.

“As the only Asian nation with an established and thriving civic space, Taiwan’s government and political entities must uphold and cherish their decades-long democratic journey,” she stated. “Fundamental freedoms in Taiwan must be preserved, and its democratic processes must never be compromised.”

FORUM-ASIA’s appeal extends to all political parties, urging them to refrain from engaging in propaganda, smear campaigns, and hate speech that could manipulate the electoral outcome.

The organization also calls on the government to actively counter and investigate any disinformation tactics that threaten the sanctity of Taiwan’s democracy.

On Saturday, Taiwanese voters will head to the polls to elect a new president. The candidates vying for the presidency are the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) nominee Lai Ching-te (賴清德), Kuomintang (KMT) nominee Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜), and Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) nominee Ko Wen-je (柯文哲).

The Central Election Commission (CEC) of Taiwan announced on Tuesday, 9 Jan, that a total of 19,548,531 people are registered to vote in the upcoming presidential election. Additionally, there are 17,476 individuals who, due to a residency requirement difference, will only be eligible to vote for legislators-at-large.

For the district legislators’ elections, 19.03 million voters are eligible, while 438,199 people are eligible to vote for indigenous legislators. New Taipei City leads the municipalities with the highest number of eligible voters, totalling 3.4 million. It is followed by Taichung with 2.32 million, Kaohsiung with 2.31 million, Taipei with 2.09 million, Taoyuan with 1.88 million, and Tainan with 1.56 million voters.

The CEC has also highlighted that in the presidential election, the largest voting bloc is the 40-49 age group, with 3.88 million eligible voters, making up 19.88 per cent of the electorate. The 50-59 year-old group follows closely with 3.53 million eligible voters, accounting for 18.06 percent of the electorate.

Furthermore, approximately 2.84 million young voters aged 20-29 are eligible to participate in this presidential election.

On election day, voters will be given three different ballots: one for the presidential election, one for either a regional or aboriginal legislator and one for a political party to determine the allocation of legislator-at-large seats.

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What a Joke. Always Run by the same GroupS plus Singularities of Rich and Filthy Rich and screaming of Fair Election!!!

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