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Constitutional reform: Ruling DPP aims to lower voting age

  • 22 October, 2021
  • Staś Butler
Constitutional reform: Ruling DPP aims to lower voting age
On Thursday, the DPP’s constitutional reform committee met for the third time to reach a consensus on its amendment plans. (Photo: CNA)

Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) aims to abolish two branches of government and lower Taiwan’s voting age to 18. Both proposals are among six potential areas of reform in the DPP’s plan to amend Taiwan’s constitution. 

Speaking on Friday at the legislature, Premier Su Tseng-chang said the barriers to adopting constitutional amendments are “extremely high”. But Su says he hopes to see a consensus form in society to move proposed amendments forward.

On Thursday, the DPP’s constitutional reform committee met for the third time to reach a consensus on its amendment plans. The committee agreed that the DPP should aim to lower the voting age and age of candidacy to 18. Right now, only people over the age of 20 are allowed to vote, and only people over 23 can hold political office.

The committee also agreed that Taiwan should abolish two branches of government. In contrast to the three-branch model used in the United States and United Kingdom, among many other countries, Taiwan has a total of five branches of government.

The DPP plans to abolish the Examination Yuan, which is in charge of managing the civil service, and the Control Yuan, which is the government’s top watchdog. The potential amendments would redistribute the powers of the two branches to the Cabinet and the legislature.

Other proposed amendments would seek to reduce the time interval between presidential elections and inaugurations. Right now, presidential elections take place in January, but the winner of the election only takes office in May.

The DPP committee also agreed that Taiwan should establish a human rights committee and a national audit committee in the legislature. 

Finally, the DPP wants to lower the threshold for constitutional amendments to pass into law. At the moment, amendment proposals have to pass the legislature with a three-quarters majority. Proposals then have to be put to a public referendum and pass with at least half of eligible voters voting in favor.

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