Thu, Jan 25, 2007 - Page 3 News List

KMT stolen assets plebiscite campaign moves to next stage

MOVING ON The DPP chairman urged the public to join the party's search for `transitional justice' and slammed the KMT for trying to scupper the poll plan

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

From left to right, former premier Frank Hsieh, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary-General Lin Chia-lung, DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun, Vice President Annette Lu and Premier Su Tseng-chang yesterday clench their fists at a press conference held at the DPP headquarters. The DPP announced that it will launch a signature drive as part of its ongoing campaign to make the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) return stolen assets.

PHOTO: CHANG CHIA-MING, TAIPEI TIMES

The Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) campaign to hold a referendum on the recovery of the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) stolen assets proceeded to the second stage yesterday after the number of signatures submitted by the party to the Central Election Commission (CEC) passed the legal threshold.

DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun urged the public at a news conference to seek "transitional justice" by joining the second phase of the campaign.

According to the Referendum Law (公投法), the signatures of 0.5 percent of the nation's eligible voters, or 83,000 signatures, are needed for a referendum proposal to be established.

After passing the threshold, another 830,000 signatures have to be gathered within six months for a referendum to be held. The DPP has set the goal of collecting 1 million signatures in the second stage.

"It has been 60 years since the KMT exploited its power to grab the nation's assets when it was the ruling party," Yu said, adding that although former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and current Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had promised to return the assets to the people, but "Ma has been saying one thing while doing another."

Yu accused Ma of trying to prevent the campaign from completing its first stage by having district household registration offices in Taipei delay the verification process for the signatures the DPP had submitted to the CEC.

"So far we have successfully managed to breach Ma's illegal and unconstitutional blockage [of the campaign]. We will surely be able to garner 1 million signatures [needed for the referendum to be held]," he said.

"We believe it is the people's basic right to hold a referendum," Yu said.

"It is also a human right and a tool that can be used by the people to prevent the legislature from being idle. Ma should not try to stop it," he added.

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