Wed, Feb 13, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Changes in referendum on UN entry bid unlikely, KMT caucus whip says

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) are unlikely to withdraw the two proposed referendums on the nation's application to join the UN or come up with a compromise version on the referendum issue, KMT caucus whip Lin Yi-shih (林益世) said at a press conference yesterday.

Lin said both UN plebiscites had been officially established and scheduled for a vote to coincide with the presidential election on March 22.

The Legislative Yuan does not have the authority to change the two referendums even if it were to pass a resolution, he said.

Lin said that neither the party nor the party caucus would consider proposing another plebiscite on the matter.

Lin made the comments in response to a report yesterday by the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister paper), which quoted an unidentified source from the Presidential Office as saying that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and DPP presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) had discussed how to ensure the success of the referendums on the nation's application to join the UN.

Hsieh also said on Monday that the KMT and the DPP should come up with a compromise version of the UN referendum that would safeguard the best interests of both parties and the public.

This marked the second time Hsieh had called for cross-party negotiations on the plebiscites to prevent them from failing and giving the international community the impression that Taiwanese do not want to join the UN.

The KMT caucus had proposed late last month that the legislature pass a binding resolution that requires the government to "return to" or "join" the UN using the nation's official title, the "Republic of China (ROC])" arguing that the new legislature represented the latest public opinion on the matter.

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