Shanghai (China), Nov 26 – More than 19 million Taiwanese are called to the polls today to vote in local and regional elections in which more than 11,000 posts are to be elected, the official news agency reported today. CNA news.
Alongside the local elections, the islanders will also participate in a referendum on lowering the legal age to vote and present political candidates from the current 20 years to 18.
The polling stations opened their doors at 08:00 local time (00:00 GMT) and will continue to receive voters until 16:00 local time (08:00 GMT).
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen declared after voting that participation in local elections is “key” when it comes to promoting democracy on the island.
However, the negative note will be the ban on going to the polls for those infected with covid, which, according to official estimates, will leave some 65,000 people without the right to vote, since Taiwan does not allow voting by mail.
The authorities have already warned that those who fail to comply with the mandatory quarantine to go to vote will face fines of up to 2 million Taiwanese dollars (64,600 dollars, 62,100 euros) or sentences of up to two years in prison.
The Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post recalls today that Beijing, which has claimed sovereignty over the island since 1949, will closely follow the event, paying special attention to the referendum on lowering the voting age.
Last month, a Chinese government spokeswoman claimed that this vote is a “ruse” by the island’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (PDP), to “try to change the Constitution and pave the way for its separatist attempts.”
Tensions between Taipei and Beijing, constant since Tsai came to power in 2016, have intensified in recent months due to the visit of the president of the US Congress, Nancy Pelosi, strongly protested by the Chinese authorities, who described her as of “farce” and “deplorable treason”.
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