IOC asks about procedure for Taiwan referendum on name change

2018/10/31 19:55:28 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 31 (CNA) The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has written a letter to its national counterpart in Taiwan, seeking information about the country's referendum procedures, ahead of a plebiscite on whether Taiwan should apply to attend the 2020 Tokyo Olympics under the name "Taiwan" instead of "Chinese Taipei," the national Olympic committee confirmed Wednesday.

Citing a report by the Spanish news agency EFE on the name change referendum, the IOC asked about the voting procedure but did not mention whether the referendum might affect Taiwan's right to participate in the 2020 Games, Shen Yi-ting (沈依婷), secretary-general of the Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee (CTOC), said in response to CNA's questions following reports in the local media about such a letter.

On Nov. 24, Taiwan will hold 10 referendums, alongside its local government elections, including one that will ask voters whether they agree Taiwan should apply to participate in all international sporting events, including the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, using the name "Taiwan."

For a referendum to succeed in Taiwan, it must gain a majority in excess of 25 percent of the number of eligible voters.

Central Election Commission Chairman Chen In-chin (陳英鈐) has estimated the number of eligible voters this year at 19.8 million, which means that it would require at least 4.95 million votes for a referendum to pass on Nov. 24.

In May, the IOC sent a letter to the CTOC, saying that the name "Chinese Taipei" cannot be changed because it was determined in an agreement between the IOC and CTOC in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1981.

The Lausanne Agreement states that Taiwan must use the name "Chinese Taipei" and fly the CTOC flag at international sports events, an arrangement that has allowed Taiwanese athletes to attend such events after the People's Republic of China replaced the Republic of China (Taiwan) at the United Nations in 1971.

(By Huang Chiao-wen and Elizabeth Hsu)

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