The head of the Central Election Commission said yesterday that he will not consider postponing the mission-oriented National Assembly election for the time being.
Commission Chairman Chang Cheng-hsiung (張政雄) made the remarks when he was invited by the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) to report on the National Assembly election and the proposed "three-in-one" local elections at the end of this year.
TSU Legislator Lo Chih-ming (羅志明) suggested that the commission postpone the National Assembly election for "major incidents," citing the example of the 1979 legislative elections which were postponed after the US severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan.
With the bill governing the operations of the assembly still in limbo because of bickering between the ruling and the opposition parties, Lo said that even if the 300 delegates are elected on May 14 as scheduled, the assembly will still be a toothless organ, and this could trigger constitutional crisis.
Chang noted that the 1979 legislative elections were postponed by an emergency decree issued by then-president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國). He said that as there is no such emergency decree now, the commission will carry out the conclusions reached by the legislature last August to hold a National Assembly election on May 14.
A total of 300 delegates are to be elected to the assembly, whose mission will be to approve a package of constitutional amendment proposals -- halving the number of seats in the legislature, changing the electoral system to a"single constituency and two votes" system, abrogating the assembly and including the referendum system into the Constitution.
"It is not the jurisdiction of the commission to suspend or postpone the election, and we are not considering it," Chang said.
The TSU also suggested that the commission seriously consider postponing the assembly election to the end of the year and holding it simultaneously with the city and county head elections in order to save money and boost the turnout rate, and to avoid a constitutional crisis.
On the proposal to hold mayoral, commissioner, city and county councilor, and village and township chief elections simultaneously to save money, Chang said that the commission will study the proposal at a meeting next Wednesday.
After reaching a resolution at the upcoming meeting, the commission will send letters to local election committees as a reference, he said, adding that the views of local election committees will be respected in terms of deciding whether to hold the "three-in-one elections."
Meanwhile, four legislators lent their support to the "three-in-one" elections proposal first broached by Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷).
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Chien-huei (黃劍輝) said that the commission will convene a meeting next Wednesday and that it should show its determination to cut costs by holding the elections simultaneously.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) said that polls have shown that 58 percent of the people support the "three in-one" elections, and that 56 percent favor merging central and local elections to two times every four years.
KMT Legislator Lin Hung-chih (
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