Thu, Sep 22, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Ma backs `truth' committee

BY MO YAN-CHIH  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou addresses the KMT's weekly Central Standing Committee meeting yesterday.

PHOTO: LIN CHENG-KUN, TAIPEI TIMES

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday threw his support behind forming another "truth committee" in the Legislative Yuan to further investigate the assassination attempt against President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) on March 19 last year.

Ma expressed his dissatisfaction with the Supreme Court's Sept. 16 rejection of the pan-blue camp's appeal to have the results of last year's presidential election -- which took place the day after the shooting -- declared null and void. After a year and a half of drawn-out legal challenges and legislative investigations, the Supreme Court's decision exhausted the pan-blue camp's final legal avenue for disputing the election.

Ma also questioned the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) for using a referendum as a campaign tool in last year's presidential election and then discarding it "like a tissue immediately after use."

Ma suggested modifying the Referendum Law (公投法) to strip from the president the right to initiate a "defensive" referendum -- which was the mechanism used by Chen last year.

"This should be the direction of the future amendment of the Referendum Law," Ma said.

Ma made the comments during the party's weekly Central Standing Committee yesterday morning, after the pan-blue camp's lawyer Yu Da-wei (俞大衛) gave a report on the pan-blue camp's failed lawsuit and appeal.

The court on Sept. 16 also threw out the claim that a referendum initiated by Chen and held simultaneously with the presidential election violated the principle of a secret ballot.

Ma said that the KMT respects the court's ruling and accepts its failure -- but that both the process and result of the pan-blue camp's challenge were disappointing.

"The justice system should give plaintiffs enough room to conduct an investigation. I am disappointed about the judge's inability to play a fair and detached role in the process," Ma said.

Committee members including Lien Sheng-wen (連勝文) and Chu Feng-chih (朱鳳芝) said that it is necessary to continue the search for the truth of what happened last March 19 through the establishment of a second "truth committee" in the Legislative Yuan.

"If we give up searching for the truth about the 2004 presidential election, the DPP will have more tricks in the future, and we can't let that happen," Lien said.

The first such "truth committee" established by the pan-blue dominated legislature ran aground last December when the Council of Grand Justices ruled that it had been given unconstitutional powers.

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