Thu, Aug 30, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Abolish the Referendum Review Committee: society

REFERENDUM RUCKUS Northern Taiwan Society figures accused members of the Cabinet committee of voting along party lines when reviewing proposals

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Northern Taiwan Society Deputy Secretary-General Yosoh Kure, center, speaks at a press conference yesterday, calling on the government to abolish the Cabinet's Referendum Review Committee. Kure is flanked by Northern Taiwan Society Legal Taskforce convener Chen Yi-shen, left, and convener of the Constitution Reform Alliance Allen Houng.

PHOTO: CHU PEI-HSIUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

The pro-independence Northern Taiwan Society yesterday called on the government to abolish the Cabinet's Referendum Review Committee.

The society told a press conference that the committee was biased after it rejected a referendum bid proposed by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to join the UN under the name "Taiwan," but accepted a similar proposal initiated by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

"The Administrative Procedure Law [行政程序法] stipulates that the committee should deal with [proposals] equally, but it treated [the KMT's] proposal differently," deputy secretary-general of the society Yosoh Kure (吳煜宗) said.

"We believe the problem lies with those members of the committee who were nominated by the KMT. They do not review referendum proposals objectively, but instead regard the review process as a political tool," Kure said.

The committee approved the KMT proposal by a vote of eight to four. The eight members nominated by the KMT voted in favor of the proposal, while the Taiwan Solidarity Union representative, the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union representative and the two People First Party representatives rejected the proposal.

Eight DPP-selected members had resigned en masse following the committee's rejection of the DPP's referendum bid in June.

Both proposals seek a referendum on UN membership, but differ on the use of national title for the bid. The KMT suggests using the name "Republic of China [ROC]."

Allen Houng (洪裕宏), convener of the Constitution Reform Alliance, criticized the review committee for contradicting itself.

"Since the committee rejected the DPP's referendum proposal, it should have also rejected the KMT's proposal. Instead it used double standards," Houng said.

At a separate event, DPP Secretary-General Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) alleged that the committee approved the KMT's proposal to shift attention away from the DPP's UN referendum bid.

The DPP started its second-stage signature drive earlier this month after the Cabinet's Appeal Committee last month overruled the review committee's rejection.

Calling the KMT's proposal "a referendum without soul," Lin urged the KMT to abandon it immediately.

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