In light of the election-eve shooting on Nov. 26 that injured a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Central Committee member and killed a bystander, Control Yuan member Liu Yu-shan (劉玉山) has proposed banning campaign activities on the eve of election day. However, the suggestion was not well received by lawmakers across party lines, with some criticizing Liu’s idea as “illogical” and “nonsense.”
Liu made the suggestion to Minister of the Interior Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) when visiting the ministry on Friday, saying that Taiwan should follow Singapore’s example in implementing a “cooling-off period” the day before elections by banning all kinds of campaign activities, including election-eve -rallies, to prevent election violence.
“Since most voters would have already decided who to vote for the day before the election, banning election-eve rallies should not have any major impact on election results,” he said.
In response to Liu’s suggestion, Jiang said that the ministry did not plan to look further into it any time soon, unless there were a social consensus supporting the idea.
The idea, meanwhile, has drawn criticism from lawmakers.
KMT Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) said Liu should not forget his duties.
Ting said that according to the Constitution, the job of a Control Yuan member was to correct government actions or policies, not to make policy suggestions, because doing so was the job of lawmakers.
Ting called Liu’s idea “illogical” and “nonsense,” saying election violence could happen on any day before elections.
Democratic Progressive Party legislative caucus whip Pan Men-an (潘孟安) agreed, asking: “If campaign activities should be banned the night before election day, what about two nights before election day or three nights before election day?”
Liu’s proposal would not improve security, Pan said, adding that Liu, as a Control Yuan member, should act according to the Constitution and refrain from trying to tell the government what to do.
On the evening of Nov. 26, Sean Lien (連勝文), one of former vice president Lien Chan’s (連戰) sons, was shot through the face on stage while campaigning for then-KMT Sinbei councilor candidate Chen Hung-yuan (陳鴻源) in Yonghe (永和), Taipei County.