Fri, Oct 26, 2007 - Page 3 News List

More talks needed on election law: Wang

By Flora Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday that only those uncontroversial articles of a proposed amendment to the Election and Recall Law of Civil Servants (公職人員選舉罷免法) will be put to a second reading during a plenary session today.

Further cross-party negotiation will be needed for the remaining controversial clauses, he said.

Wang said he would convene another cross-party negotiation of the proposed amendments next week because the pan-blue and the pan-green camps remained in disagreement on a proposal initiated by the pan-blue camp.

Wang was referring to an amendment put forward by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party that prosecutors' investigations into vote-buying behavior should not begin until the Central Election Commission (CEC) has made a formal announcement of an election.

The pan-blue camp finds the current standard of investigation into vote-buying behavior too strict, but the Democratic Progressive Party has voiced its disapproval of the amendment, saying that it would encourage candidates to start buying votes as early as possible.

AMENDED LIST

Wang said yesterday that Vice Minister of Justice Lee Chin-yung (李進勇), who was present during yesterday's cross-party negotiation, also promised to draft an amendment to the ministry's list of incidents that are considered vote-buying.

When approached for comment, KMT caucus whip Kuo Su-chun (郭素春) said Lee agreed to present a draft by the end of this month, adding that the legislature aims to complete the third reading of the proposed amendment to the law before the CEC formally announces the legislative election date.

In a related development, the Third Society Party, a new political party established by former DPP member, Jou Yi-cheng (周奕成), called on the pan-blue and the pan-green camps not to set a high threshold in the proposed amendments to the Election and Recall Law to prevent smaller parties from competing for legislative seats.

THIRD SOCIETY

Meanwhile, Grace THW Group president Winston Wang (王文洋) and some industry group leaders, such as Labor Rights Association president Wang Chuan-ping (王娟萍), Wan Fan-ping (王芳萍) of the Collective of Sex Workers and Supporters and Hakka Party representative Huang Wen-tseng (黃文增), reached a consensus yesterday to establish the "third force." Legislative candidates of the party will run under the flag of the Taiwan Farmers Party.

"Many people criticize the Third Society Party by saying it is composed of people unwanted by the pan-blue and the pan-green camps, but only those unwanted by the two big parties are good candidates," he said, adding that he would serve only as a volunteer.

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