Sat, Jul 12, 2003 - Page 3 News List

KMT tries to clarify its position on referendum law

A VOICE FOR ALL The opposition party said it would expose the DPP's true colors in the next legislative session by reviewing a DPP legislator's bill article by article

By Sandy Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

After lawmakers failed to agree on referendum legislation in the three-day extraordinary session that ended Thursday, KMT spokesman Alex Tsai (蔡正元) yesterday said that his party would bring up DPP Legislator Trong Chai's (蔡同榮) referendum bill again during the next session to scrutinize it article by article.

The next legislative session will convene on Sept. 5.

Accusing the DPP of fooling the public by trying to put off the referendum bill until later, rather than voting on the bill as the pan-blue camp suggested, Tsai said, "The DPP can get away with it for the moment, but it can't get away with it forever."

"We will again bring up [Chai's version of] the referendum bill in November to inspect it article by article," Tsai said at a press conference held to explain his party's stance. "The DPP's true intent -- to fool the general public -- will then be revealed."

Negotiations stalled on Thursday night after pan-blue representatives refused to approve a TSU proposal that the legislative session should go ahead with scrutinizing Chai's bill.

While the DPP signed the TSU proposal, both the KMT and the PFP -- even though they said they supported Chai's bill -- refused to sign and insisted instead on pressing ahead with voting for the referendum bill.

The pan-blue camp -- which took issue with articles seven and eight in Chai's bill that deals with issues relating to the nation's flag, name, territory and other issues concerning Taiwan's sovereignty -- claimed that the DPP's agreeing to the TSU's proposal demonstrated their true intentions in advocating referendums on controversial unification issues.

The DPP accused the pan-blue camp of playing political tricks by first expressing support for Chai's bill then going back on what they said.

As the KMT has yet to finalize its own version of the referendum law, Tsai said the party would first observe the situation in November before deciding whether or not to present its own version.

Tsai added that the KMT refused to sign the TSU's proposal on Thursday because the wording did not represent correctly what the pan-blue camp had originally agreed to.

"What we originally agreed to was that while we would support Chai's draft bill, we demanded that articles seven and eight be reviewed," Tsai said.

PFP legislative convener Chung Hsiao-ho (鍾紹和) said that the PFP never said it would endorse Chai's version in its entirety.

"What we meant all along was that we would support reviewing Chai's referendum bill article by article," Chung said.

When asked whether the PFP would present its own version of a referendum bill in November, Chung said, "The party will respond responsibly when reviewing [Chai's version of] the referendum bill."

In related news, Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀), director of the PFP's Center of Policy Research, said that the party would jointly introduce an "Anti-betraying Taiwan" bill with the KMT.

By requiring the DPP to clearly state its definition in this bill as to what activities would constitute "betraying Taiwan," Chang said the law would prevent the DPP from charging the KMT or the PFP of "selling out Taiwan" in the run-up to next March's presidential election.

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