Plans to fine Covid positive voters slammed
Amnesty International's Taiwan office is slamming plans to fine coronavirus patients who break their mandatory quarantine to vote in the upcoming local government elections.
According to office secretary-general Qiu Yi-ling, prohibiting coronavirus-positive voters from casting ballots is a violation of legally protected political rights.
The statement comes after the Central Epidemic Command Center said patients who break quarantine to vote will face a fine of up to NT$2 million for violating the Special Act for Prevention, Relief and Revitalization Measures for Severe Pneumonia with Novel Pathogens.
Amnesty International Taiwan says that law cannot justify the government decision's to prohibit an estimated 300,000 people from exercising their voting rights.
The office secretary-general is accusing the government of breaching Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that every citizen shall have the right and the opportunity to vote and be elected in genuine and periodic elections.
The United Nations convention was adopted in Taiwan in 2009, even though the country has not been a UN member since 1971.
In other election news, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) says police have conducted a series of crackdowns to curb vote buying, violence, and illegal foreign campaign contributions.
According to the ministry, authorities have seized and frozen NT$558 million in suspicious assets following raids on underground banks in order to block offshore funds from being used to intervene elections.
One-hundred-and-twelve cases of unlawful transactions have been detected resulting in the detention of 25 people while authorities have also detained 164 people and seized 219 illegal firearms in raids on 22 locations.
The MOJ says efforts to ensure the integrity of the elections have also led to arrests in relation to vote buying and illegal betting rings. Those arrests include several election candidates.
The National Police Agency says it has seized NT$92 million in cash and arrested 4,809 people in crackdowns on illegal election betting.