Thu, Nov 10, 2005 - Page 2 News List

KMT faults CEC over ballot plan

ALLEGATIONS A KMT lawmaker accused the election commission of helping the pan-green camp with a decision to stop stamping voter's ID cards during elections

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Central Election Commission's (CEC) plan to scrap the practice of marking voter identification cards during the Dec. 3 local government elections drew criticism from lawmakers yesterday.

In previous elections, voters' ID cards would be stamped at the polling station when they received their ballot.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) questioned whether the CEC's plan was politically motivated and aimed at helping the pan-green camp's lagging campaign rig votes in the year-end local polls.

Reason for change?

"If the original design is flawed, I'm very curious to know why the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] administration wants to change it now rather than four or five years ago," he said.

Wu said that he would also like to know why the CEC in September revamped the Implementation Regulations of the Public Officials Election and Recall Law (公職人員選舉罷免法施行細則), and discarded an article that required a voter's ID card be marked after receiving a ballot.

"Isn't it obvious that it is another political scheme by the CEC to change the rules of the game before the election?" Wu said. "I'm calling on the CEC to take the initiative to change it back."

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) caucus whip David Huang (黃適卓), however, backed the CEC's plan, saying that it was a way to effectively reduce vote-buying practices.

"It is a humiliating accusation against all polling personnel, most of whom are civil servants, when the opposition parties make such allegations," he said.

Voicing support

"Marking a voter's ID card is a legacy of the KMT regime to calculate polling outcomes. Getting rid of such a ridiculous scheme will not only ensure free voting but also reduce vote-buying," he said.

Throwing his support behind Huang, DPP Legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said the pan-blue camp was "opposing for the mere sake of opposition" and deliberately smearing the reputation of polling personnel.

"You cannot just accuse any man with a penis of having the intention to rape a woman," he said.

Hsu, however, said the issue deserved a full-fledged discussion.

In response, CEC Chairman Chang Cheng-hsiung (張政雄) said yesterday that he would call a meeting before the end of this week to address the issue.

Chang said that the Ministry of the Interior had originally planned to issue new ID cards on July 1, prompting the CEC to overhaul the Implementation Regulations of the Public Officials Election and Recall Law because the plastic coating on the new cards would mean they couldn't be stamped.

The plan for the new cards was delayed until Dec. 21, however, so voters taking part in the Dec. 3 elections will not have their ID cards marked when they take their ballots.

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