Wed, Aug 04, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Election date likely won't be changed, commission says

By Cody Yiu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Central Election Commission (CEC) said yesterday that there is little chance of changing the date of the December legislative elections, unless a CEC commissioner made such a proposal by the end of this month.

Yesterday a group of pan-blue and independent lawmakers, including People First Party Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) and independent Legislator Yen Chin-piao (顏清標), paid a visit to the CEC to ask it to move the date of the legislative elections from Dec. 11 to Dec. 4.

As Dec. 10 is the anniversary of the Kaohsiung Incident in 1979, after which the KMT government imprisoned democracy activists following a protest organized by Formosa magazine turned into a riot. The crackdown is also known as the Formosa Incident.

Pan-blue legislators said that the proximity of the election date to the 25th anniversary of the incident would affect the election's outcome.

"The CEC is holding an upper management meeting on Sunday to schedule a meeting among all commissioners. If none of the commissioners proposes a date change, the election day is unlikely to be changed," CEC Chairman Chang Chao-hsiung (張昭雄) said yesterday.

However, even if a proposal is made by one of the commissioners, the CEC will not necessarily adopt the proposal.

In the past, legislative elections have always been held on the first weekend of December. However, this year, the CEC chose Dec. 11 -- the second weekend of the month -- as the election date instead. Therefore, the pan-blue camp said that the proximity of the 25th anniversary of the Kaohsiung Incident and the election date was no coincidence.

According to Chang, as long as there is nothing illegal or "unjust" about the way the commissioners have determined the date for this year's legislative elections, it will be hard to call for a date change.

The Election and Recall Law (選罷法) stipulates that a promulgation of the election date and its logistics needs to be carried out 40 days prior to the election.

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