Three new cases of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) were confirmed in Taiwan on Saturday, bringing the total to 432.
All three were imported.
Meanwhile, according to a medical study authored by a Taiwanese research team that was published by the American Medical Association, the transmission of COVID-19 has been found to be highest within a week of the onset of symptoms.
Contacts with exclusive pre-symptomatic exposure were also at risk, the paper said.
CEC moves forward on recall vote, despite resistance
The Central Election Commission (CEC) yesterday reached an agreement with the Kaohsiung City Election Commission to set up the same 1,823 polling stations used in 2018’s Kaohsiung mayoral election for the June 6 vote to recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜).
The arrangement was reached as some venue hosts retracted their agreements to provide space for polling stations.
As of Thursday, the Kaohsiung commission had only obtained permission to use 64.8 percent of the venues that it expects would be needed for the recall vote.
Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Chen Hsiung-wen (陳雄文), the Kaohsiung commission’s head, yesterday said that it had encountered “considerable difficulty” in trying to secure space for polling stations, as only about half of the 900 schools have agreed to provide classrooms.
CEC Chairman Lee Chin-yung (李進勇) yesterday visited Kaohsiung to help resolve the issue.
“Wherever people voted in the 2018 [Kaohsiung] mayoral election is where they will vote in the recall vote,” Lee said. “That is treating voters with respect.”
The CEC could help the Kaohsiung commission solicit space from national universities or government agencies to be used as polling stations.
Lee asked Chen to tally universities and government agencies that are willing to provide space for the vote, adding that “if they turn down the requests, I will chop my head off.”
KMT lawmakers hope to strengthen criminal codes
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wan Mei-ling (萬美玲) yesterday said that she would sponsor a bill to amend the Criminal Code.
Under her proposed amendment to Article 87 of the Criminal Code, if a person with psychosis commits a crime warranting a prison term of at least 10 years or a life sentence, they should be placed in custody for compulsory treatment for at least 10 years.
“This would deter people from faking a mental illness in the hopes of receiving a not guilty verdict or lighter penalties,” Wan said.
In related news, on Friday, KMT Legislator Yeh Yu-lan (葉毓蘭) sponsored a draft amendment to the Criminal Code seeking to increase penalties for people who commit homicide, bodily harm or grievous bodily harm against law enforcement or medical personnel.
Penalties for obstructing official duties stipulated in the Criminal Code and the Medical Care Act (醫療法) are too lenient and ineffective at protecting police and medical personnel from violence, she said.
The bills come after the Chiayi District Court on Thursday found a 55-year-old man surnamed Cheng (鄭) not guilty of the murder of police officer Lee Cheng-han (李承翰).
So far, it appears that these are independent of any broader KMT strategy to focus on law-and-order issues.
However, it will bear watching to see if this becomes a part of the party’s plans going forward.
Such a move would be in keeping with the recent upsurge in social conservatism that marked much of the 2020 campaign.
Norway court snubs Taiwanese in name battle
A group of Taiwanese residing in Norway lost a lawsuit filed last year against the Norwegian government, accusing it of improperly changing their designated nationality from Taiwan to China in their residency permits.
The lawsuit was filed by three Taiwan nationals residing in Norway on Aug. 29, 2019, naming the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI), the Immigration Appeals Board (UNE) and the Oslo Police District as defendants.
According to one of the three Taiwanese plaintiffs, starting from 2010 the Norwegian authorities changed the nationality on their residency permits to China, prompting him to launch a movement to urge the Norwegian government to change the policy.
The decision handed down by a district court in Oslo said the Norwegian government abides by the one China policy and so does not diplomatically recognize Taiwan.
They plan to appeal.