The Taipei High Administrative Court yesterday rejected an administrative appeal by the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) against the Central Election Commission (CEC) for turning down the party’s petition to hold a referendum on the issue of Taiwan signing a cross-strait trade agreement.
The cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) was signed in June 2010. Earlier that year, the TSU proposed a referendum asking the question: “Do you agree that the government should sign an ECFA with China?”
The proposition was rejected by the Cabinet’s Referendum Review Committee.
The TSU filed an administrative lawsuit with the Taipei High Administrative Court, which dismissed the lawsuit.
The party then appealed the ruling to the Supreme Administrative Court, which in June 2012 overruled the Taipei High Administrative Court and required the committee to make up for some missed steps during its process of reviewing the application.
The TSU filed another lawsuit with the Taipei High Administrative Court when the CEC, after the committee made up for some missed steps by holding public hearings, rejected the TSU’s proposition again.
According to the latest ruling from the Taipei High Administrative Court yesterday, the party’s proposed referendum question ran counter to Article 2 of the Referendum Act (公民投票法), which states that matters of taxation and rent were not open to referendum, adding that the TSU could not phrase the referendum question in positive terms.
The committee’s conclusion to reject the party’s referendum proposal was legal, the ruling said, adding that the party can appeal the ruling with the Supreme Administrative Court.
TSU Chairman Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) told a press conference yesterday afternoon that “the ruling contravenes the law and the court is a political tool of the government.”
The party would definitely bring the case to the Supreme Administrative Court again, he added.
Additional reporting by CNA