Premier says no to ‘independence referendum petition’

Speaking at the Legislature on Feb. 19, Premier Su Tseng-chang declined to sign a petition aimed at holding hold a referendum on Taiwan independence (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Feb. 19 indicated he would not sign a petition to change the Referendum Act so Taiwan can hold a referendum on independence as proposed by the pro-independence Formosa Alliance, saying Taiwan is already a sovereign country.

Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Ko Chih-en (柯志恩) asked the premier during an interpellation session if he plans to sign the petition while asking why the Presidential Office and Cabinet (Executive Yuan) have dodged questions about the referendum push and not yet issued a statement on the matter.

In response, Su said “no,” he does not plan to sign the petition.

The alliance called on local lawmakers on Jan. 31 to make clear their stance on revising Taiwan’s Referendum Act to allow people to vote on issues concerning Taiwan’s future.

The Referendum Act currently does not allow votes on matters that require amendments to the Constitution and sovereignty issues fall within that category, which is why the alliance is calling for the law to be changed.

Chen Yi-min (陳宜民), another KMT lawmaker, pointed out that the premier’s predecessor Lai Ching-te (賴清德) labeled himself a “pragmatic worker for Taiwan independence” and asked how Su would characterize his own position.

Su replied that he believes Taiwan is already an independent country and his job as premier is to safeguard national sovereignty and work for the wellbeing of the nation and its people.

By Fan Cheng-hsiang and Chung Yu-chen