Wed, Oct 17, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Amendments or dump Ma: Nuke-4

MESSAGE The lobby group is calling on Taiwanese to punish legislators who oppose proposed changes to the Referendum Law by not voting for them next year

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Members of the Nuke-4 Referendum Initiative Association yesterday gather outside the Legislative Yuan to call on the legislature to support proposed revisions to the Referendum Law.

PHOTO: CNA

Former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) called on the public yesterday to dump Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) if he refused to support amendments to the Referendum Law (公投法).

Lin, a member of the political lobby group Nuke-4 Referendum Initiative Association, led group members to the legislature yesterday and lobbied lawmakers to support revisions to the law.

Lin said the group would make public the names of legislators who back and those who oppose the amendments on Friday.

Group members also intend to visit the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidates to obtain their views on the matter.

The association hopes the legislature will approve the changes before the session ends on Jan. 31.

Association chief executive Iap Phok-bun (葉博文) said the organization sent letters to legislators on Sept. 11 and Oct. 3, in which they asked them to support the proposed revisions.

Only 26 DPP and five Taiwan Solidarity Union legislators have responded to date, with the association receiving six more endorsements yesterday.

Association convenor Lin Shuang-pu (林雙不) called on the public to punish legislators who oppose the amendments by not voting for them in the legislative elections in January.

Arguing that the KMT is the main hindrance to the nation's democratic development, Lin I-hsiung asked the public to use the KMT's attitude on the matter to gauge its sincerity in elevating its democratic accomplishments.

Although the DPP and the KMT have been aggressively soliciting support for their individual UN membership referendum proposals, Lin I-hsiung said the proposals would constitute nothing but political ploys if they failed to amend the Referendum Law and allow people to have a final say on major issues.

The association is seeking to lower the threshold for a referendum request from the 80,000 voters -- or 0.5 percent of eligible voters -- in the last presidential election, to 100.

It also wants to lower the threshold for a referendum request that necessitates 5 percent of eligible voters in the last presidential election -- or 800,000 -- to 1.5 percent, or 240,000 voters.

In addition, the association has proposed the abolition of the Referendum Review Committee and the lowering of the number of voters required to make a referendum valid from 50 percent to 25 percent.

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