Fri, Nov 03, 2017 - Page 3 News List

KMT criticizes CEC chair nominee

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday criticized Premier William Lai’s (賴清德) nomination of National Central University law professor Chen In-chin (陳英鈐) to be chairman of the Central Election Commission (CEC), saying Chen’s “distinct” political affiliation would prevent him from objectively performing the duties of the position.

Speaking at a news conference at the legislature, KMT caucus vice secretary-general Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀) said that to ensure the objectivity of the nation’s top election authority, the post had traditionally been assigned to independents or individuals whose political affiliations were not “so obvious.”

Chen is an advisor to the Executive Yuan and previously served as a member of the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Clean Government Committee at the DPP’s headquarters, Lee said.

Since 2003, the DPP has invited Chen to 12 meetings and news conferences it held at the legislature, she said.

Chen’s political affiliation is “beyond the shadow of a doubt,” which would make it difficult to convince the public that he would be impartial while performing their election-related duties, she said.

The KMT caucus would vigorously oppose Chen’s nomination, she said.

KMT Legislator William Tseng (曾銘宗), another of the caucus’ vice secretary-generals, said that Chen’s nomination could suggest that the DPP has given him the task of rezoning political constituencies in its favor ahead of the 2020 legislative and presidential elections.

Tseng said he was worried that if Chen became head of the election commission it would become completely dysfunctional and introduce dubious policies.

However, Chen said later in the day that he is not a DPP member, and he would carry out his duties in a nonpartisan manner if his nomination is approved.

He said he is no longer a member of the DPP’s Clean Government Committee, but that most of its members selected to be on the committee are not DPP members as a way of encouraging good behavior in the party.

He said he hoped his nomination could gain bipartisan support and that if approved, he would lawfully perform the chair’s duties to ensure electoral fairness.

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