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Countdown begins for Taiwan's biggest ever local elections
Central News Agency
2014-08-21 11:24 PM
Taipei, Aug. 21 (CNA) The Central Election Commission on Thursday published the schedule and rules governing the nationwide local elections in November, the biggest in Taiwan's history in terms of the number of representative posts up for election. A record-high 11,130 public servants will be chosen for nine categories of elected office in what is being called the "nine-in-one" elections, which will accept official candidacy registrations Sept. 1-5 ahead of the Nov. 29 vote lasting from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., according to the commission. Voters will elect mayors of six special municipalities; magistrates and mayors of 16 counties and provincial cities; 907 municipal, county and city councilors; 204 chiefs of townships, county-controlled cities and aboriginal districts; 2,146 representatives for township, county-controlled city and aboriginal district councils; and 7,851 heads of villages and boroughs. Eligible voters are required to bring their identity card, personal chop, and voting notice to the polling station. Liu Yi-chou, vice chairman of the Central Election Commission, told a press briefing that voters are not allowed to bring their mobile phones with them; violators will be fined between NT$30,000 (US$999) and NT$300,000. People are also advised against tearing up their ballots even if they have wrongly marked their votes, or else they could face a fine of NT$5,000, Liu said. In the case of extreme violations, people can be fined NT$500,000 for carrying out electioneering on voting day -- including sending vote soliciting text messages to friends, the most frequent violation seen in the past several years. The media meanwhile is barred from releasing any opinion polls beginning Nov. 19, 10 days ahead of voting day, Liu added. (By Sophia Yeh and Jeffrey Wu)
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