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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

REFERENDUM SHOWS WILL OF THE PEOPLE: OFFICIAL

2004-04-07 17:36:43

    Taipei, April 7 (CNA) Examination Yuan President Yao Chia-wen claimed Wednesday that Taiwan's first nationwide referendum "reflects clearly" the Taiwan people's position regarding the military threat from mainland China.

    The referendum was conducted alongside the March 20 presidential election, with voters being asked whether Taiwan should buy more anti-missile systems amid the mainland's increasing missile threat and whether the island should negotiate a "peace and stability" mechanism with mainland China for future interaction between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.

    Only 45.12 percent of the 16 million eligible voters cast ballots in the referendum, so it failed to pass the 50 percent threshold of total voters to be considered valid.

    In a seminar organized by Taiwan Advocates, Yao noted that more than 90 percent of those who cast their ballots said "yes" to both questions, which he claimed "indicates clearly" to the world community that the Taiwan people would choose to fight the mainland missile threat rather than keeping silent as they have in the past.

    Yao said more referendums will be held in the future, although he added that consensus must be reached on a sound referendum system that can last."

    According to Huang Kun-hui, vice chairman of Taiwan Advocates, a total of 7.45 million eligible voters cast referendum ballots, exceeding the 6.57 million votes received by President Chen Shui-bian in the election.

(By Elisa Kao)

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