Sat, Jul 25, 2009 - Page 3 News List

ECFA referendum petition passes CEC’s initial review

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

A referendum proposal on signing an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China petitioned by the Democratic Progressive Party chairperson (DPP) passed initial review by the Central Election Commission (CEC) yesterday.

“The CEC has confirmed that the referendum petition submitted by [DPP chairperson] Tsai Ing-wen [蔡英文] was signed by 123,462 qualified voters, and thus has reached the threshold set forth in the Referendum Act [公民投票法],” the CEC said in a press release after a meeting yesterday.

“The CEC therefore decided to forward the petition to the Executive Yuan’s referendum review committee for further review,” it said.

The referendum petitioned by the DPP asks voters if they agree that the ECFA should be ratified by the public in a referendum.

Regulations stipulate that a referendum proposal must be signed by more than 0.5 percent of the number of voters who voted in the last presidential election — 86,608 in this case — in the initial phase.

In the second stage, a referendum proposal approved by the Cabinet referendum review committee must be endorsed by more than 5 percent of the number of voters who voted in the last presidential election — or 866,000 people in this case — to make it to the polling stations.

Besides granting initial approval to the referendum proposal, CEC members have reached the decision to extend the voting hours for the local government head and councilor elections by an hour — from 8am to 5pm — to make it easier for people who still have to work on the voting day.

The CEC has also decided to hold the Yunlin County legislative by-election on Sept. 26.

The seat became vacant earlier this month when former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Chang Sho-wen’s (張碩文) election was nullified when he was found guilty of vote-­buying earlier this month.

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