The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday asked the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Central Election Commission to clarify a discrepancy in signatures collected by the DPP in two 2008 referendum drives, after the commission said that large numbers of signatures on a KMT-supported referendum petition were unacceptable.
On June 23, 2007, the DPP’s Web site announced that its “Return illegally obtained party assets to the people” referendum drive had collected 1.4 million signatures, and on Nov. 28 that year, it said that the party’s “Join UN as Taiwan” referendum had delivered 2.7 million signatures to the commission, KMT spokesperson Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) said.
However, commission data showed that it only accepted 1.1 million signatures for the party assets referendum and 1.56 million for the UN referendum, Hung said.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
The commission’s numbers and the DPP’s numbers do not add up, he said, adding that the public has the right to know where the missing signatures went.
Given that the president at the time was DPP member Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), the DPP and the commission might have reached an agreement under the table, Hung said.
“The DPP’s heavy criticism over the past days of the KMT’s anti-air pollution referendum drive is proof that DPP legislators are nothing but political hired hands covering for the commission,” Hung said.
The commission in a report said that it considered 37 percent of signatures on the referendum petition to be invalid, with more than 10,000 signatures from people who died before signature collection began.
The commission on Wednesday said that it was considering referring the case to prosecutors and recommended an investigation into the bill’s sponsor, KMT Legislator and Taichung mayoral candidate Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕).
DPP spokesperson Lin Tsung-sheng (林琮盛) yesterday said that the KMT had mistakenly assumed that the DPP delivered all 2.7 million signatures for the UN referendum that it mentioned in the press release to the commission.
However, the party only presented it with 1.5 million of the signatures, Lin said.
DPP caucus Secretary-General Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) told a news conference in Taipei that the KMT Kaohsiung chapter’s submissions had the highest rate of forged signatures and called on KMT Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), who heads the chapter, to explain the matter.
More than 45,000 of the 71,000 signatures that the chapter submitted — or about 63 percent — were invalid, DPP Legislator Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) said, urging KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) to make a statement on the matter.
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