Wed, Feb 01, 2012 - Page 3 News List

TSU to push for electoral reform

CHANGES:The party, an ally of the DPP, will also push for amendments to the Referendum Act as it returns to the legislature after a four-year absence

By Chris Wang  /  Staff Reporter

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Huang Kun-huei, center, and newly elected TSU legislators raise a toast at a banquet in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Li Yu-hsin, Taipei Times
Warning: Excessive consumption of alcohol can damage your health

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) plans to push for an amendment to the Referendum Act (公民投票法) and changes to the single-district electoral system in the new legislature, which begins today, the party said yesterday.

The TSU will “relentlessly” push for political reform in the legislature, TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) told reporters. Huang’s party won three legislator-at-large seats after passing the 5 percent threshold in the Jan. 14 legislative elections.

The pro-independence party, which had no member in the 113-seat legislature during the past four years, is now eligible to establish a party caucus and participate in interparty negotiations, although it is still a small party.

“We call for lowering the threshold of the ‘birdcage’ Referendum Act and reform of the single-district electoral system, which creates votes of unequal values and imbalanced representation due to its ‘winner-take-all’ design,” Huang said.

Huang also confirmed that Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had asked for the TSU’s support in the election of the legislative speaker and deputy speaker positions today and that the TSU has decided to support the DPP nominations of Hsu Tain-tsair (許添財) and Yen Yi-jin (葉宜津).

Huang credited the party’s “re-emergence” for its non-stop efforts during the past four years acting as the “people’s voice” and in its election strategy.

The TSU announced early in the campaign season that it would support Tsai in the presidential election and would not compete with the DPP in the district legislative elections, opting to focus on winning legislator-at-large seats.

The strategy worked wonders, Huang said, as the TSU earned more than 1.17 million party votes, or 8.96 percent, last month.

The party also expressed interest in a DPP proposal for an opposition coalition in the legislature, he said, but it would require discussion to work out the details.

Even without an official coalition, the TSU would be more than likely to collaborate with the DPP on a wide range of issues, particularly those related to cross-strait relations and national security, because the two parties shared similar views, said Hsu Chun-hsin (許忠信), a TSU legislator-elect and the party’s designated caucus whip.

“The TSU takes pride in being a party that always speaks for middle and low-income people. We will never change that position,” Hsu Chun-hsin said.

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