Thu, Apr 19, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Nuke-4 accuses premier of passing the buck

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Nuke-4 Referendum Initiative Association yesterday called into question the premier's credibility after the Cabinet decided to let the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) legislative caucus take care of legal revisions to the Referendum Law (公投法).

Chief executive of the association Iap Phok-bun (葉博文) said that they appreciated Premier Su Tseng-chang's (蘇貞昌) pledge to deal with the matter, made during last Saturday's public debate organized by the DPP for its presidential hopefuls.

The Executive Yuan would approve amendments to the Referendum Law and pull back another proposal submitted earlier, Su said during yesterday's weekly meeting.

The Executive Yuan, however, did not put the issue on the agenda.

Iap said he was disappointed that Su had gone back on his word and criticized the United Daily News for publishing misleading reports about his organization's proposed legislation, which sowed confusion within the DPP.

Showing a copy of yesterday's paper, Iap said his group had not proposed to lower the threshold of signatures for the referendum from 800,000 to 100 and asked the newspaper to publish a correction.

Iap said their proposal was to lower the threshold for a referendum petition from 0.5 percent of the eligible voters at the last presidential election -- or 80,000 -- to 100, while that for a referendum proposal would necessitate 5 percent of the eligible voters at the last presidential election -- or 800,000 -- to 1.5 percent, or 240,000.

The association also proposed to abolish the referendum review committee and lower the number of voters from 50 percent to 25 percent to make the referendum valid.

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) last Wednesday threw his support behind the group's proposal and said he hoped the legislature would approve the revisions before the end of the year.

Chen's support, however, met with dissenting opinion from the DPP and opposition parties. During a question-and-answer session in the Legislature on Tuesday, Su expressed his reservations over the 100 required to call a referendum.

In response, Cabinet Spokeswoman Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) said yesterday that the association's complaint was the result of a misunderstanding.

"It is the Cabinet's policy to help them [the association] and we did," she said.

Additional reporting by Jimmy Chuang

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