Sun, May 08, 2011 - Page 3 News List

INTERVIEW: Peng advises vigilance ahead of elections

On April 19, the Central Election Commission (CEC) announced the merger of the presidential and legislative elections, which will likely be held on Jan. 14 next year. Former presidential adviser Peng Ming-min talked to Tzou Jiing-wen, a staff reporter for the ‘Liberty Times’ (the sister paper of the ‘Taipei Times’), saying that the commission has violated the principle of fairness by changing the rules when the game has already begun. Saying the merged polls could make vote-buying even easier, Peng called for strict public scrutiny during election season

Furthermore, take the combined legislative and presidential elections as an example. The merger is very much forced, and isn’t something a democratic country would do. But he has done it. If his intention was to avoid wasting social resources, [the combined polls] could have been adopted for the next round of elections. Why now? If it has to be started this election, why didn’t Ma start planning for it three years ago when he was first sworn in? It should have been done before the “game” had started.

In my opinion, I think it’s because the KMT’s electoral prospects aren’t looking so good, prompting it to change the rules when the game has started, using everything in its power to give itself an unfair advantage. How can one establish trust with a society like this?

What I want to stress is that if you want change, then do so openly, and early. It’s like the Selective Goods and Services Sales Tax Act (特種貨物及勞務稅條例). It should have been passed three years ago, why leave it until now? What was the government doing these three years? That’s why I say that the KMT doesn’t care about sovereignty or public welfare. It’s only concerned about how to guarantee Ma’s re-election. This is only an example. More examples might crop up before the actual vote.

LT: Has President Ma, since being sworn into office, ever communicated with you or other former presidential national advisers? Has he made any effort to promote harmony between the pan-green and pan-blue camps?

Peng: Never.

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