Mon, Oct 09, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Lawmaker recall drive launched by Shih's group

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

As the opposition-launched recall motion against President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is unlikely to pass the legislature without support from the pan-green camp, the anti-Chen campaign led by former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Shih Ming-deh (施明德) yesterday announced that it was launching a recall motion against pan-green legislators.

If pan-green legislators decide to support the second presidential recall motion and hand the future of the president over to the people to decide through a national referendum, the campaign will end its month-long protest, organizers said.

"By opposing the recall motion against Chen, pan-green legislators denied the people the right to vote on the future of the president, and they should take the responsibility," Shih told a press conference at the Mayor's Residence Arts Salon.

A second recall motion, initiated by the People First Party last month, will be put to a vote on Friday. DPP and Taiwan Solidarity Union lawmakers have refused to support the motion.

The anti-Chen campaign published a list of DPP legislators yesterday, ranked according to election districts and the number of people required to recall the legislators. Campaign organizers called on the public to fill out recall forms provided by the campaign.

Campaign spokesman Emile Sheng (盛治仁) said the thresholds for initiating and passing recall motions differed by districts.

In Keelung, for example, only 5,714 votes are needed to recall a legislator, he said.

"If a legislator was recalled, he or she would not be allowed to run in legislative elections for four years. I think that's a pretty harsh punishment," Sheng said.

According to the Public Functionary Election and Recall Law (公職人員選舉罷免法), the threshold to initiate a recall motion against a legislator is 2 percent of the number of voters in an election district, while the threshold to put the motion on a vote is 13 percent of all voters in the district following a review by the Central Election Committee (CEC).

The law required the approval of one half of voters in the district for the motion to be passed.

Sheng called on the public to support its latest campaign by obtaining recall-initiative forms in person or from the campaign's Web site. The camp will collect the forms tomorrow and send them to the CEC.

Shih reiterated an appeal to pan-green lawmakers to support the presidential recall motion or present their own version.

"If the recall motion passes the legislature and a national referendum is to be held, we are willing to end our protest," he said.

Meanwhile, organizers of the Democratic Action Alliance, which planned to join the anti-Chen campaign's "siege" tomorrow, said yesterday their group will not be taking part.

The DPP yesterday claimed that the alliance had planned to use violence to spoil the Double Ten National Day celebrations.

Alliance leader Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) yesterday dismissed the accusations, but said the alliance would not join the siege.

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