The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday denied agreeing to back an amendment to the Organic Law of the Central Election Commission (中央選舉委員會組織法) to win passage of the long-stalled arms procurement bills.
DPP caucus whip Wang Sing-nan (王幸男) told a press conference that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) would have to step over "the dead bodies of all DPP members" to pass the KMT-proposed amendment to the organic law, which he called "unconstitutional."
Although DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) had previously said during cross-party negotiations that the DPP could compromise on the commission amendment if the KMT allowed the arm procurement bills to pass, Wang said this idea had never become the caucus' consensus or resolution.
Another caucus whip, Wang Tuoh (
Meanwhile, the government has yet to begin the nomination process for new members of the Central Election Commission (CEC) since a pan-blue bill to change the commission's organization is being reviewed in the legislature, CEC spokesman Teng Tien-you (鄧天祐) said yesterday.
"It's problematic if we start the nomination process at the moment the legislature is reviewing the Organic Law of the Central Election Commission," Teng said.
The Chinese-language China Times reported yesterday that the Cabinet was about to nominate new commission members to block the opposition's effort to pass the amendment, which has been opposed by pan-green lawmakers.
The bill calls for selecting commission members in accordance with political parties' electoral strength, which would give the pan-blue camp control of the commission. Members now are nominated by the premier and appointed by the president.
The tenure of current members expires on June 16, and the Executive Yuan is required, in accordance with current regulations, to start nominating new members two months before that.
The China Times quoted an anonymous source as saying that the Cabinet would begin the nomination process next Monday. The source was quoted as saying that the government wanted to control the CEC to ensure that the year-end legislative election and next year's presidential election would be held on the same day as a referendum on recovering the KMT's stolen assets.
"It's too early to start the nomination process because the Executive Yuan still has about two months to handle the matter. The deadline is June 16," Teng said.
The story was also denied by Deputy Cabinet Secretary General Chen Mei-ling (
The China Times also said that the KMT, under pressure from the US, had agreed to approve the arms procurement budget if the pan-greens supported its commission amendment.
KMT caucus whip Alex Fai (
The KMT, however, did agree to such a trade-off when it was was offered by the DPP early last month during the legislature's extra plenary session. But the People First Party's lawmakers rejected the deal because they are vehemently opposed to the arms deal.