Sun, May 11, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Recall amendment changes are to prevent abuse: KMT

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said that a controversial proposal to increase the documents required by petitioners during recalls of elected representatives is intended to “reduce possible abuses in the process.”

During Friday’s legislative floor meeting, the KMT caucus placed the draft act to raise the recall threshold on Tuesday’s discussion agenda, which means that it could get a green light in passing the second reading if it is put to a floor vote.

The party’s move has raised doubts, as it comes during a public campaign for recalling legislators that was launched after the cross-strait service trade act row. Many of the officials under fire are KMT members.

Opposition parties called the KMT-proposed amendment, which would require petitioners to provide photocopies of identity cards and affidavits — in addition to the existing requirements for name, address and national identification number — “a reaction to the ‘appendectomy project,’” using a term associated with the recall campaign targeting KMT lawmakers.

KMT Culture and Communication Committee head Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) rebuked the allegation in a statement yesterday, saying the proposed amendment to the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法) is intended to make its content “more rigorous, complete and in accordance with the spirit of democracy and rule of law.”

“When the draft act is passed, it applies to both the ruling and the opposition parties,” Fan Chiang said. “And the recall and election processes could prevent shady abuses from happening in the future.”

The party center is united in support for the amendment, he added.

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