Tue, Nov 07, 2017 - Page 3 News List

KMT demands new CEC nominee list

FAIR AND BALANCED:Most of the six nominees have ties to the DPP, the KMT said, while one nominee said that they are all professors with transparent backgrounds

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

National Central University law professor Chen In-chin, the Democratic Progressive Party’s nominee for Central Election Commission chairman, answers questions from the media yesterday at a meeting of the Internal Administration Committee at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.

Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday urged Premier William Lai (賴清德) to rescind the Cabinet’s nominations for the Central Election Commission (CEC) to ensure the agency’s neutrality, citing the nominees’ “green background.”

As members of the nation’s statutory agency responsible for managing local and national elections, they should be politically neutral to ensure that elections are fair, just and independent of political influence, KMT spokesman Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) said.

“However, most of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration’s six nominees have held positions either in the party or its affiliated organizations. This runs counter to the principle of neutrality to which past commission nominees have usually conformed,” Hung told a news conference in Taipei yesterday.

The news conference coincided with a meeting of the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, which was convened to review for the second time the credentials of the nominees, who are expected to succeed six commission members whose four-year terms expired on Friday.

With a legislative majority, DPP lawmakers yesterday voted to refer the nominations to a plenary session for a vote without cross-party negotiations. They are expected to be approved on Friday or Tuesday next week at the earliest.

Under the Organic Act of the Central Election Commission (中央選舉委員會組織法), the premier is entitled to nominate the commission’s chairperson, vice chairperson and members three months before the incumbent’s tenure is to expire, pending legislative approval.

It also stipulates that no more than one-third of the commission’s members, who can number between nine and 11 people, can belong to the same party.

The DPP nominated National Central University law professor Chen In-chin (陳英鈐) as chairman and Taichung Legal Affairs Bureau Director Chen Chao-chien (陳朝建) as vice chairman. The two have also been nominated as commission members.

National Taipei University of Education professor Chou Chih-hung (周志宏), National Chengchi University’s Election Study Center director Tsai Chia-hung (蔡佳泓), Chinese Culture University Department of Law director Hsu Hui-feng (許惠峰) and Soochow University political science associate professor Lin Chiung-chu (林瓊珠) were also nominated as commission members.

All the nominees are independent except for Hsu, who is a member of the DPP.

However, Chen In-chin previously served as a member of the DPP’s Clean Government Committee, while Chen Chao-chien — who during last year’s presidential campaign spoke out in support of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) — serves in the administration of DPP Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), Hung said.

In addition, Lin had worked for the DPP’s polling center and Chou has served as a member of the DPP’s arbitration committee, Hung added.

“Lai should rescind this nomination list and put forward a new one to ensure the commission’s neutrality,” he said.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the legislative committee meeting yesterday, Chen In-chin said that most nominees are professors with a simple and transparent background.

“Besides, the Organic Law of the Central Election Commission does not prohibit its members from being party members and only sets a one-third threshold, which is already stricter than other independent commissions,” he said.

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