Tue, Mar 26, 2013 - Page 3 News List

TSU files lawsuit over referendum

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday filed an administrative lawsuit over the rejection by government agencies of its application to hold a referendum on a cross-strait trade pact, saying that the government’s current referendum proposal on a nuclear power plant adopted the same rationale as the TSU’s rejected initiative.

If President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration, which supports the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, was allowed to ask people if they support the suspension of the construction of the plant in a planned national referendum, the TSU proposal should not have been rejected for asking a question that was inconsistent with the proposer’s position, TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) said after filing the lawsuit at the Taipei High Administrative Court.

“If the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] can ask people if they support the suspension of the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in a proposed national referendum, despite the party supporting the construction, the referendum proposed by the TSU on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement [ECFA] should not have been rejected,” Huang said.

In August last year, the Referendum Review Committee under the Executive Yuan rejected the TSU’s referendum proposal on the ECFA, which asked voters if they agree with Taiwan’s signature on the agreement with China, saying that the question was inconsistent with the party’s position.

Huang said the rejection was even more intolerable because the committee handed it down after the Supreme Administrative Court overruled the Taipei High Administrative Court’s dismissal of the previous lawsuit Huang had filed for the same cause and ruled that the committee must review the application.

“I would like to see how the Referendum Review Committee handles the KMT’s proposal and whether it deals with the two cases with different standards,” Huang said.

He also accused the KMT of asking two questions — whether voters would support the suspension of the construction and the suspension of the nuclear plant’s operations — in its referendum proposal, which is prohibited by the Referendum Act (公民投票法).

The TSU had proposed its so-called “ECFA referendum” three times after the agreement was signed in June 2010, but each proposal was rejected by the Referendum Review Committee.

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