Eighty-eight per­cent in fa­vor of keep­ing adul­tery il­le­gal: NDC poll

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Eighty- eight per­cent of par­tic­i­pants in a gov­ern­ment-hosted on­line poll said they want adul­tery to stay in Tai­wan’s law books as a crim­i­nal act.

“Should adul­tery be de­crim­i­nal­ized?” asked the Na­tional Devel­op­ment Coun­cil (NDC, ) in a public opin­ion poll that opened on May 14.

As of press time, 8,710 of par­tic­i­pants — or 88 per­cent — have voted in op­po­si­tion of de­crim­i­nal­iz­ing adul­tery, while 1,236 of par­tic­i­pants ex­pressed fa­vor.

The web­site poll, open un­til Aug. 11 at http://join.gov.tw/openup/, is not con­ducted through ran­dom sampling and may not be rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Tai­wan pop­u­la­tion.

Adul­tery is pun­ish­able by up to a year in pri­son, ac­cord­ing to Ar­ti­cle 239 of Tai­wan’s Crim­i­nal Code ( ). In re­cent years, the law has come un­der fire for in­va­sion of pri­vacy and dis­crim­i­na­tory ap­pli­ca­tions that take women to court while sparing men, whose wives tend to drop charges.

South Korea re­voked its decades- old adul­tery law this Fe­bru­ary, trig­ger­ing re­newed de­bate about de­crim­i­nal­iza­tion in Tai­wan.

Eyes on Poll

In 2013, the Min­istry of Jus­tice ( ) con­ducted two opin­ion polls in which vot­ers over­whelm­ingly fa­vored keep­ing adul­tery il­le­gal.

Chuang Ming-fen ( ), a sec­tion chief in the NDC’s depart­ment of in­for­ma­tion man­age­ment, said yes­ter­day that re­sults of the lat­est on­line poll will be sent to the Min­istry of Jus­tice for ref­er­ence.

Staff from the min­istry will re- view and re­spond to the com­ments posted be­low the poll on the NDC web­site, she said.

Who Are The Ne­ti­zens?

Due to the na­ture of the Web poll, the NDC can­not track spe­cific users, but it does know 70 per­cent of users are ac­cess­ing the sys­tem via a mo­bile de­vice, Chuang said.

The for­mat of a Web poll may pro­vide oth­er­wise hid­den mem­bers of the public with a way to speak up, ac­cord­ing to the NDC.

Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Leg­is­la­tor Yu Mei-nu ( Party ) said yes­ter­day that not all public opin­ions carry through on the In­ter­net and that the adul­tery law is­sue re­quires more space for de­bate.

Awak­en­ing Foun­da­tion Chair­woman Chuang Chiao-ju ( ) said that sup­port for de­crim­i­nal­iz­ing adul­tery only means re­liev­ing the act of crim­i­nal li­a­bil­ity: Cheat­ing spouses still have po­ten­tial of re­spon­si­bil­ity due to the vi­o­la­tion of civil law.

Ne­ti­zens who have voted in the NDC poll may not be aware of the full legal im­pli­ca­tions of de­crim­i­nal­iza­tion, she said.

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