A proposed referendum law, currently awaiting review in the Home and Nations Committee of the legislature, looks set to reopen an ideological fault line in the legislature.
Despite the Cabinet's intention to withhold action on the law due to its political sensitivity, the legislation's sponsor, DPP lawmaker Trong Chai (
Chai said he has obtained the word of Yeh Yi-jin (
Chai has pushed for the law for years, but to no avail.
Although Chai proposed a similar bill during the last legislative session, it was frequently shelved due to a blockade from pro-unification parties, including the KMT, PFP and New Party.
When it has been permitted to reach the committee, the bill, which has always been linked with the DPP's pro-independence stance, was removed from the legislature's schedule, together with other bills that failed to pass committee review.
Introducing his legislation as soon as the new legislative session started, Chai proposed the bill again after successfully collecting the endorsements of 114 lawmakers, most of whom are from the DPP and TSU.
Leaders of the DPP legislative caucus and Cabinet were cautious about the timing of introducing the bill.
Wang Tuoh (
Cabinet Secretary-General Lee Ying-yuan (
Lee said there are other more urgent bills -- such as those designed to implement the conclusions reached by the Economic Development Advisory Conference and those related to the downsizing of the Taiwan Provincial Government.
The DPP has long proposed resorting to referenda to resolve public-policy disputes. Most importantly, the party insists that any decision to change the status of Taiwan should be made through a plebiscite.
In light of the sensitivity of the law, the KMT and PFP yesterday maintained that the law should not apply to changes in the nation's designation, flag and territory, or it would result in severe political turmoil.
Tseng Yung-chuan (
Tseng said that the KMT believes the applicability of the referendum law should be limited to national and local public policy issues.