Fri, Jun 04, 2010 - Page 1 News List

ECFA referendum proposal rejected

TSU REQUESTJust before 11pm, the Referendum Review Committee announced it would not accept the initiative to hold a nationwide poll on the proposed trade pact

By Loa Iok-sin and Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff Reporters

Huang also hinted at Chinese involvement in the decision. He said the committee’s decision came after the government came under pressure from Chinese authorities.

A TSU source said the party still has about 100,000 signed petition forms left over from its initial application. A total of 86,000 signatures are needed to initiate a referendum process.

TSU officials said they would try and use the remaining forms to initiate another referendum proposal. However, it was not immediately clear whether the Referendum Review Committee would accept the forms because the law says the same referendum proposal cannot be submitted twice.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesman Lin Yu-chang (林右昌) said the committee decision was regrettable and raised concerns that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) had pressured committee members over their decision.

During the committee meeting at the Joint Central Government Officers Tower in Taipei, DPP lawmakers tried to break into the venue by climbing over the fence and metal gates surrounding the building. Police officers rushed to stop the lawmakers, triggering scuffles and clashes.

The lawmakers were able to breach the police’s first line of defense, but were stopped in front of the building’s glass doors. The police shut down elevators to prevent protesters from getting into the building through the underground parking garage and reaching the room on the 10th floor where the committee was deliberating.

Prevented from reaching the committee, the DPP lawmakers held a sit-down protest outside.

Lin said the DPP would most likely hold a provisional meeting this morning and issue a formal statement after it receives a copy of the committee’s decision.

The DPP’s event in support of a referendum on an ECFA, scheduled for Kaohsiung City’s Glory Pier tomorrow, will go ahead as planned.

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