Cabinet approves draft bill on absentee voting, IoT development plan

23 February, 2024

Courtesy of ICRT


The cabinet has passed a draft bill that paves the way for Taiwan nationals to vote outside their constituencies during national referendums.


The draft bill was proposed by the Central Election Commission, and is pending approval at the Legislative Yuan. It applies to voters in Taiwan who are unable or unwilling to return to the city or county in which they are registered. It does not include citizens living overseas.


According to the bill, eligible citizens have to apply to the election commission through paper forms or an online system for permission to vote in absentia during a referendum, and a minimum of 60 days before the vote. The bill was first submitted by the election commission in 2020.


However, the bill failed to clear the legislative floor by the time the previous Legislature ended its four-year term on 31 January, making it necessary to propose the bill again.


The cabinet has also approved a new four-year implementation phase of its "Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan" to expand the development of the Internet of Things industry and build a comprehensive ecosystem for innovative startups.

The National Development Council-proposed Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan 3.0 begins next year. Council deputy head Gao Shien-quey says the government will allocate a budget of NT$11.73 billion for the programme.


The focus of the 3.0 plan is to develop generative AI and miniaturization, 5G, satellite networking, and the use of the Internet of Things to strengthen digital and net zero transformations.


The NDC says the plan looks to continue injecting new investment momentum, and study new potential tax incentives for, and encourage private and enterprise investment in startups.


The government began implementing the Asia Silicon Valley Development Plan in 2016. The NDC says it has since attracted global digital giants, including Microsoft, Google, and Cisco to come to Taiwan and establish R&D or innovation centres.

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