Fri, Jun 03, 2005 - Page 3 News List

CEC outlines its plan to combine three elections

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Central Election Commission (CEC) yesterday outlined five major reasons to support the Cabinet's proposal to combine three local government elections into one poll in December.

According to a statement by the CEC, it will continue to work on this project to combine the three elections -- including the county commissioner and mayoral elections, county councilor elections and township mayoral elections -- into one poll. CEC officials are planning to hold the combined election on Dec. 3.

According to the CEC, the result of a recent questionnaire showed that half of the country's 14 counties supported combining the elections. It will be extremely inconvenient for people if they have to vote three times in similar elections to elect officials for local governments, the CEC said.

In addition, holding one poll will help the CEC save money on the campaigns. The same logic also applies to local governments, because they can save money when hiring the necessary personnel for the elections.

The idea of combining the three elections into one poll was first proposed during the weekly Cabinet meeting on March 30.

As of press time yesterday, both the green camp and the blue camp said that they would endorse the proposal, but they did have some concerns.

Although the central government is promoting the "three-in-one" poll, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) said that vote-buying or election-related violence could become a serious problem for law enforcement officers.

"We [the TSU] basically support the CEC's idea and its plans. However, we would also urge the government to come up with more related mechanisms to address these concerns," said TSU caucus whip Lo Chih-ming (羅志明). "Maybe we will need stricter enforcment of the law during campaign activities. We need assurances from the government that public order will not become worse because of the proposal."

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