The legislature yesterday decided to accelerate a review of an amendment in an apparent move to thwart the civil campaign to recall Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇), who has been accused of serving as President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) yes-man rather than serving the public’s interests.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers dubbed the amendment to the Election and Recall Act for Public Servants (公職人員選舉罷免法) the “Wu Yu-sheng clause,” saying it was a “shame” on the KMT that it tried to revise the law just to help Wu secure his position in the legislature.
The KMT voted at the plenary session to push through a motion tabled by the party caucus to bring the amendment, pending review by the Internal Administration Committee, to the floor for a second reading.
If the amendment passes the legislature, people who initiate a recall petition against an elected public servant and people who sign such a petition will need to present a copy of their identity card and sign an affidavit verifying their identity.
The KMT’s move will accelerate the passage of the amendment in the hope that the new rule can be brought into effect before the recall campaign against Wu launched by the Constitution 133 Alliance begins its second phase of signature collections, which is required for the recall proposal to be considered valid.
Under the current regulations, initiators of a recall proposal are required to sign the petition with their real name and include their identity card number and other household registration-related information, while people who sign the petition need to disclose their real name, identity card number and household registration address.
Later yesterday, Wu said, via a statement, that the amendment was not tailor-made for him because the bill, proposed by KMT Legislator Chiu Wen-yen (邱文彥), was sent to the committee for a review in September last year, before the recall campaign against him was launched in August.
Earlier this month, the alliance submitted more than 6,000 signatures collected in Wu’s constituency, New Taipei City’s (新北市) first district, to the Central Election Commission, meeting the minimum threshold required to complete the first phase of a recall petition.
The alliance aims to meet its next target of garnering support from no less than 13 percent of the electorate — about 290,000 in the district — next month before the proposal for a recall can be put to a referendum in the constituency.