Sat, Apr 09, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Control Yuan report gives support for election merger

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

A report by the Control Yuan released yesterday provides support for a government plan to hold next year’s presidential election in combination with the legislative election and to also introduce absentee voting in those elections.

The report, a review on the high frequency of elections and the lack of a method for absentee voting — two longstanding issues that remain unresolved — called on the government to finalize the policies and put them into effect as soon as possible.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is in favor of merging the two elections by bring the presidential election, scheduled for March, forward to take place at the same time as the legislative election, which could be held in January.

However, the Central Election Commission has yet to make a decision on the matter.

By law, holding the presidential election with the legislative election is not prohibited, said the report, authored by -Control Yuan members Lee Ping-nan (李炳南) and Chou Yang-shan (周陽山).

The Control Yuan said the government should push for a merger of the elections because the measure has support from a majority of the public.

It also urged the government to accelerate the introduction of an absentee voting system to “fully protect” the public’s right to vote.

The report said the system should be implemented in time for next year’s elections.

Ninety-six countries — including the US, the UK, France, Australia, Japan, South Korea and the Philippines — utilize a form of absentee voting, which in Taiwan has been stalled for years amid political gridlock, the report said.

While not opposing the idea of merging the elections and the introduction of absent voting, the Democratic Progressive Party has expressed reservations about the two initiatives being applied next year, saying the purpose of the changes could be a political ploy to favor the KMT.

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