TAIWAN: TIME NOT RIPE FOR DEATH PENALTY REFERENDUM, SAYS JUSTICE MINISTER
|Taiwan's new justice minister, Tseng Yung-fu, speaks to reporters
May 12, 2010: Taiwanâ€™s Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu said there was no need to hold a referendum on the death penalty given that almost 80 percent of the public supported it.
Tseng made the remarks at the legislature in response to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT). Legislator Hsieh Kuo-liang's proposal to resolve the death penalty controversy once and for all through a referendum.
Tseng said that a poll conducted by the ministry in January showed that 74 percent of the public supported the death penalty.
Various polls have also shown a support rate of 70 to 80 percent, he said.
A referendum on the issue would be better considered once public opinion is more evenly spread, Tseng added.
He said that abolishing the death penalty was the nation's long-term goal. The ministry has been promoting policies toward the abolition of capital punishment, but it has not set a timetable for its implementation.
The ministry will follow public opinion, he said.
In the meantime, the ministry would not suspend executions in accordance with the law, he said. (Sources: Taipeitimes, 13/05/2010)