Thu, Jul 22, 2004 - Page 3 News List

DPP member says legislative elections should be held later


A legislator of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) suggested to the Central Election Commission yesterday that the legislative elections be held one week before the swearing in of new legislators, to conform to the practices of democratic countries.

DPP Legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水) made the remarks amid criticism from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) that the commission's tentative schedule to hold the legislative elections on the second weekend of December instead of the usual schedule on the first weekend is politically motivated.

Huang Teh-fu (黃德福), a KMT whip in the Legislative Yuan, expressed the hope that the commission will maintain a just and neutral stance, saying that the plan aims to work in tune with the DPP's 25th anniversary of the "Kaohsiung Incident" on the eve of the election to boost the morale of the DPP.

Huang was referring to the Dec. 10, 1979 incident when the local opposition movement held a rally in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan to commemorate International Human Rights Day. The rally turned into a riot, and supporters of the opposition movement were arrested, including Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮).

The commission's move to put off the elections by one week will not solve the problem of a long lapse between the election of new legislators and their inauguration, which is two months apart, he said.

He suggested that the elections be held one week before the inauguration.

New legislators are set to be sworn in on Feb. 1, according to the Constitution.

He noted that when the elections are held in December, the outgoing Legislative Yuan will still be in session and therefore will have to suspend the session for more than one month, which he said will cut too much time for the review of bills.

After the elections, there will still be more than one month remaining in the session, he said, and those legislators who end up losing in the elections will either have no heart to review the bills or will still try to wield their power for the remaining period of their term.

Lin said such a situation would be "worrisome."

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