Sun, Jul 11, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Panel on shooting not necessary

THE LIBERTY TIMES

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) invited the heads of the five branches of government for tea last week.

After their meeting, an announcement was made that a special investigative commission for the March 19 gun shooting would be established to investigate the assassination attempt on the president and vice president, so as to enhance government credibility, pacify controversies, facilitate social stability and reinforce solidarity.

Chen indicated that the panel for the commission will be comprised of 11 to 13 members and chaired by Control Yuan President Frederick Chien (錢復), who will enjoy sole discretion in selecting commission members. A certain percentage of the commission members will be lawmakers, while others will be from the Control Yuan. Chen also emphasized that the operation of the commission should transcend all interests without any interference and be independent, impartial and transparent.

The commission will not be placed under the Presidential Office or the executive branch. Moreover, the commission should operate in compliance with the Constitution and in a manner that respects the powers of the Judicial Yuan and the Control Yuan.

Since the March election, the pan-blue camp has been unwilling to accept its defeat and has therefore requested a recount of the ballots and an investigation of the shooting of the president and the vice president, as well as the triggering of the national security mechanism by the government in the aftermath of the shooting. These have been the three main demands as part of its strategy to overturn the result of the election.

To eliminate the social unrest brought by the pan-blue protests after the presidential election, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) complied with each and every such request although these requests were groundless and not supported by any real proof. First and foremost, the pan-blue camp accused the government of keeping a large number of the police force and military personnel from voting by triggering the so-called national security mechanisms.

However, according to statistics released by the Ministry of National Defense, the number of soldiers on duty on the day of the presidential election did not surpass the number in the past. This demonstrates that no military officers or soldiers were prevented from voting because of the triggering of the national security mechanism.

How is it possible for those in command of the armed forces to know about the political orientation of its soldiers? Regardless of how many were on duty on that day, it is hard to accurately measure how the number impacted the votes garnered by any particular political party. How did the pan-blues come up with the conclusion that a greater number of soldiers on duty that day were more likely to favor them over the pan-green ticket? Obviously, the accusation made by pan-blue camp is based on wishful thinking and part of its irrational reaction to the election result.

Without any substantial proof, the pan-blue camp also accuses the Chen administration of tempering with the ballots. They made exaggerated and defamatory allegations based merely on street rumors and wild speculation. However, to resolve the controversies, Chen also accepted the pan-blue's request for a recount of all the ballots. After the nationwide recount was completed, but before the verdict is out on the election lawsuit, pan-blue leaders have again seized the opportunity to spread rumors about having discovered widespread tampering with ballots. They went as far as to say that so long as the judiciary is impartial, a re-election will certainly take place.

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