Thu, Jul 15, 2010 - Page 3 News List

TSU asks for careful study of referendum proposal

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Tuesday night asked members serving on the Referendum Review Committee to exercise their duty faithfully and abide by the spirit of the Constitution to give the public the right to vote in a referendum on a trade agreement recently signed by Taiwan and China.

Huang made the call after the Central Election Commission (CEC) on Tuesday sent the TSU's referendum proposal on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) to the committee for screening.

The TSU's proposal asks: “Do you agree with the government signing the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China?”

The wording of the proposal is the same as that used in its first proposal submitted in late April.

Citing Article 14, Section 1.4 of the Referendum Act (公民投票法), the committee on June 3 ruled that the TSU's first proposal invalid. The act states that referendum questions must not have a “contradiction or obvious error in the content of the proposal, thus making the intention of the proposal not understandable.”

The commission on Tuesday said it approved the TSU's latest proposal after initially checking the number of those who co-signed the proposal — 104,293 — and will send the proposal to the review committee for confirmation.

The committee will make a decision on whether the proposal is valid within 30 days.

“[The CEC's ruling] just showed that the Referendum Review Committee violated the law when it used Article 14, Section 1.4 of the Referendum Act to reject the ECFA referendum the first time it was proposed,” Huang said. “That was ridiculous.”

Since the CEC saw no violation, the committee cannot expand its authority by using the same article to reject the proposal, Huang said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA

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