Sun, Dec 24, 2006 - Page 3 News List

TSU, PFP oppose proposal to hold two-in-one elections

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Two smaller political parties said yesterday that they either opposed or held reservations about having presidential and legislative elections on the same day, as suggested by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun.

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) and People First Party (PFP) were responding to Yu's suggestion of combining the legislative elections scheduled for the end of 2007 and the presidential election in March 2008 as a means of strengthening social harmony and saving money.

Yu said that many groups have told him that there are too many elections in Taiwan, which have caused rifts in the fabric of society. Combining presidential and legislative elections -- the two most prominent elections in the country -- would be a socially harmonious and cost-efficient move.

Liao Pen-yen (廖本煙), the TSU's legislative caucus whip, said the party adamantly opposes combining the two elections.

Liao said that as a minor party, it will be unable to field its presidential candidate, and that two-in-one elections would be favorable to large political parties in building up momentum, while further squeezing the maneuvering space of the smaller parties.

He said if the DPP is set to promote the two-in-one elections, the TSU will advocate cross-party coordination to decide whether it is feasible.

PFP Legislator and party spokesman Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said that although the two-in-one elections will reduce social disruption, the move is definitely not favorable to the smaller parties, leading to their marginalization.

He said if the DPP formally suggest holding the two elections, then the PFP will convene a meeting to discuss on how to deal with the changes.

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