Sun, Feb 01, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Social alliance rebuffed over election registration

'DON'T VOTE FOR US' Since neither the blue nor the green camp cares about workers, the alliance wanted to run a campaign advocating voters spoil their ballots

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

An alliance of social and labor groups failed to register their candidates for the presidential election yesterday, neither being one of the four political parties qualified to register or having raised the 250,000 signatures needed to otherwise get on the ballot.

What impact that might have on the campaign is anybody's guess since the alliance, formed from groups such as Committee for Action for Labor Legislation, Taiwan Association for Victims of Occupational Injuries, and Taiwan Gender/Sexuality Rights Association intended to base its election campaign around the notion of deliberately casting invalid votes.

The presence of a large number of spoiled ballots, it argues, is the only visible way for Taiwanese to show their rejection of both the blue and green camps, neither of which, the alliance says, is interested in the plight of the working class.

The alliance's presidential candidate is an aboriginal female of the Amis tribe (阿美族) named Banai Sac, who is the secretary-general of a labor union for the storage and logistics industries. Its vice presidential candidate is a middle-aged male named Kuo Ching-tsun (郭清圳), who is a contract worker with a funeral home.

The alliance members were received by Chiang Ching-sung (江清松), the deputy leader of the first task force in the CEC, but their application to register the candidates was rejected.

"According to the election regulations, for a presidential candidate to register successfully to run in the election, he has to be recommended by either of the four qualified political parties alliance or obtain enough signatures before the deadline. But the alliance's candidates failed to achieve either," Chiang explained.

The alliance was dissatisfied with the result, condemning the election regulations as being designed for the rich because registration required a NT$15 million deposit.

They also criticized both the blue and green camps for their campaigning which ignore issues pertinent to the working class.

"Both the blue and the green camps are only toying with ethnic issues, and they are not talking about really important issues such as economics and the gap between the rich and the poor. Let's cast invalid votes to drive these awful politicians away," Banai Sac said.

"We have seen that neither the blue nor the green camp can reform the system, and this has made it hard for workers to survive. With the current election regulations, besides the candidates from the two camps, the only third option the people have is to cast invalid votes," said Lai Hsiang-ling (賴香伶), secretary-general of the Committee for Action for Labor Legislation.

"The reason we are urging the public to cast invalid votes is because the country has been ignoring workers and the poor. Casting a vote for me is casting one for yourself," Banai Sac's "running mate" Kuo said.

The alliance offers seven major platforms that include promotion of invalid votes and a national movement toward socialism.

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