Sat, Nov 03, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Election law stalled on nomination issue

DIVIDED PARTIES Both the pan-green and pan-blue camps faced dissent from their minority allies, who fear being sidelined by proposed amendments

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

A group of pan-blue legislators eat peanuts during a discussion of draft amendments to the Election and Recall Law of Civil Servants in the legislature yesterday.


A legislative review of the proposed amendment to the Election and Recall Law of Civil Servants (公職人員選舉罷免法) has been postponed until Tuesday as cross-party negotiations yesterday failed to reach a consensus, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said.

Both the pan-blue and the pan-green camps were wracked by dissent yesterday as the parties bickered over a proposal initiated by the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) that no party should be allowed to nominate more than one candidate in any electoral district and that any legislative hopeful will not be allowed to register if his or her party has already fielded a candidate.

People First Party (PFP) caucus whip Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁) said that except for the six candidates who would be jointly nominated by the PFP and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), all other PFP lawmakers would support the TSU's proposal to prevent minority parties from being "crushed" by bigger parties with the adoption of the "single-member district, two-vote system" in the January legislative elections.

The TSU's proposal also ran into opposition from its pan-green ally, as the Democratic Progressive Party rebuffed its proposal, Wang said.

"As both the pan-blue and the pan-green camps failed to reach a consensus on the issue today, we have to delay the discussion until next week," Wang said at the Legislative Yuan.

Aside from candidate nominations, the Legislative Yuan will also review regulations on vote-buying and has invited Minister of Justice Morley Shih (施茂林) and Prosecutor General Chen Tsung-ming (陳聰明) to join the discussion next week.

The justice ministry on Tuesday proposed an amendment to its definition of vote-buying, which would exclude several kinds of behavior, such as handing out cash or gifts at weddings or funerals, from its list of banned activities.

While lauding the proposed amendment as a "benevolent policy," Wang said it did not state whether offering lottery prizes constituted vote-buying.

Wang denied that a number of legislators had suggested during a cross-party negotiation that candidates be allowed to spend up to NT$5,000 in prizes, adding that some had proposed placing the limit at NT$300 to NT$1,000.

Meanwhile, the Central Election Commission yesterday released a statement saying that publication of the 7th legislative election bulletin had been delayed from Monday to Friday because lawmakers failed to reach an agreement on several amendments to the Election and Recall Law of Civil Servants as planned yesterday.

The statement added that the bulletin would include information on names of candidates, the number of contested seats, division of electoral districts, the voting date and time and the maximum campaign budget allowed.

Additional reporting by Loa Iok-sin

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