Thu, Nov 22, 2007 - Page 3 News List

DPP poll claims little support for pan-blue defiance

BALLOT ROW The DPP urged the KMT to listen to public opinion and drop plans to oppose the commission's `one-step voting' system in 18 pan-blue controlled regions

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative candidate Luo Wen-jia, center, introduces his campaign team at a press conference in Taipei yesterday. The team includes Taipei City Councilor Hsu Chia-ching, left, and former minister of health Twu Shiing-jer.

PHOTO: CNA

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday that a majority of the public do not support a plan by pan-blue local government officials' to defy the Central Election Commission's (CEC) decision to distribute election and referendum ballots simultaneously in January's legislative elections.

A poll released by the DPP yesterday showed that nearly 48 percent of respondents said they considered the move inappropriate, while about 30 percent said they found it acceptable. About 20 percent of respondents said they did not have any preference.

The survey was conducted by the DPP's Poll Center on Monday and Tuesday.

The DPP's Central Standing Committee said at a meeting yesterday that the administration must boost its public relations campaign at district election commissions to advertise "one-step voting," meaning that ballots be handed out together.

Hsieh Hsin-ni (謝欣霓), director of the party's Culture and Information Department, urged the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to listen to public opinion, adding that the "two-step voting" system that it favored would be more costly.

The CEC ruled last Friday that voters would receive their legislative ballot and two referendum ballots together at the entrance to voting stations. The pan-green and pan-blue camps have accused each other of trying to manipulate election and referendum results.

Eighteen pan-blue local governments have signed a statement pledging to exercise their authority according to the Local Government Act (地方自治法) and handle the elections their own way.

The Cabinet has said that heads of local governments would be held responsible if their administrations did not comply with the CEC ruling, adding that frontline election personnel were also subject to punishment as laid out in the Civil Servants Work Act (公務人員服務法), the Civil Servants' Evaluation Act (公務人員考績法) and the Law on Discipline of Civil Servants (公務人員懲戒法).

Meanwhile, the committee yesterday agreed to form an anti-vote buying task force headed by Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) to expose suspected vote-buying activities.

Meanwhile, former DPP legislator Luo Wen-jia (羅文嘉) introduced his campaign team yesterday ahead of the inauguration of his campaign headquarters on Saturday.

Luo will be running as a legislative candidate for Taipei's Da-an District (大安) constituency, which has traditionally been a stronghold of the pan-blue alliance led by the KMT. Luo's rival is KMT Legislator Diane Lee (李慶安).

Former minister of health Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲), a DPP legislator--at-large candidate who heads the volunteer department for Luo's campaign, asked supporters to divert their sympathy for him to Luo.

Twu was wrongfully accused by Lee and restaurant proprietor Cheng Ko-jung (鄭可榮) of licking Cheng's ear while Cheng was drunk.

The Taiwan High Court ordered the pair to pay Twu NT$1 million (US$30,000) as compensation for damaging Twu's reputation.

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