Thu, Nov 29, 2007 - Page 3 News List

KMT eyes CEC amendment `weapon'

A CALL TO ARMS The KMT says that it will make amendments to the Organic Law a priority. Some DPP legislators have threatened to use violence to block the changes

By Mo Yan-chih and Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

From right to left, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Secretary-General Wu Den-yih, KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung, KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou, his running mate Vincent Siew and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng unveil the ''Taiwan Will Win'' campaign team at KMT headquarters in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: LIN CHENG-KUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) yesterday vowed to push for an amendment to the Organic Law of the Central Election Commission (中央選舉委員會組織) to counter the central government's one-step voting process.

The KMT's proposed amendment to the law, which stipulates that commission members, whose number varies from 11 to 19, must be selected according to the ratio of seats held by each political party in the legislature, failed to pass the legislature in June because of a pan-green camp boycott.

As the dispute between the central government and the 18 pan-blue-controlled local governments over the Jan. 12 legislative election voting process intensifies, Wu yesterday said the KMT should once again push for the amendment to highlight the pan-green camp's attempt to "control" the Central Election Commission (CEC).

"The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) boycotted the `legalization' of the CEC in order to control it," Wu said while addressing the KMT election campaign team at party headquarters.

PUSHING

Saying that party legislators should push for the passage of the amendment during the current legislative term, Wu criticized President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) for turning the commission into an electoral tool of the DPP, adding that the KMT should not ignore the "crisis" before the election.

"We will accept the results of the election as long as the judge is fair," Wu said.

KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) joined Wu at the event, lashing out at Chen for "kidnapping the people" by controlling important bills and expressed his support for the KMT's decision to push for the amendment.

"By refusing to negotiate with local governments on the voting process, the central government is showing arrogance. It's very inappropriate," he said.

Ma said the amendment to the CEC was legitimate and that the DPP should not boycott it.

At a separate event yesterday, KMT caucus whip Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) said the KMT caucus would make the proposed amendment a priority to push through the proposal before the legislative session ends.

"The controversy of whether to adopt a `one-step' or `two-step' voting procedure obviously stems from the fact that CEC operations are not regulated by law," Tseng said.

DPP TOOL

Calling the CEC a "tool" and an "accomplice" of the DPP, Tseng said the caucus believed it was "urgent" to "legalize" the CEC immediately after the legislative interpellation session ended.

The KMT caucus' insistence on pushing through the proposed amendment by the end of the last legislative session earlier this year led to deadlock as the DPP caucus insisted on first reviewing the 2007 fiscal budget bill.

The wrangling between the pan-green and pan-blue camps in the last legislative session marked the first time in the legislature's history that the central government's fiscal budget had remained stalled after the fiscal year had begun.

The Budget Act (預算法) stipulates that the legislature should complete its review of the central government budget bill one month before the start of the fiscal year.

The budget bill was not approved by the legislature until June 16 -- almost 10 months after it was referred to the legislature in September last year.

The legislature is currently reviewing the government's 2008 fiscal budget bill.

KMT Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), however, urged the KMT to rethink its decision to push the proposal because "the pan-green camp has on several occasions boycotted the proposed amendment with violence."

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