The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus yesterday urged Central Election Commission (CEC) Chairman Chen Ying-chin (陳英鈐) not to appeal a ruling by the Taipei High Administrative Court that the commission should accept follow-up submissions for petitions that it rejected.
The court on Wednesday ruled that follow-up submissions should be accepted, because under the amended Referendum Act (公民投票法) “referendum proposals should be approved in principle, and should only be rejected under extraordinary circumstances.”
Chen announced after the ruling that the commission would appeal it.
The case was filed with the administrative court by nuclear energy advocate Huang Shih-hsiu (黃士修) after the commission rejected more than 20,000 signed petitions that he tried to deliver to it to make up for a shortage in the number of petitions he had earlier submitted for a referendum proposal on the nation’s energy policy.
Huang was trying to meet the legal requirement for the number of petitions needed for a referendum to pass its initiation stage, which is 282,000.
The commission had rejected the extra petitions on the grounds that it had not asked him to make follow-up submissions.
The KMT caucus said Chen was acting as a hitman for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which has pledged to phase out nuclear energy in 2025.
Speaking at a news conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, KMT caucus secretary-general William Tseng (曾銘宗) said that Article 13 of the act allows the main proponent of a referendum to make follow-up submissions should a review by the commission find there are not enough signatures for a referendum proposal to pass.
Chen should drop the case and not abuse the nation’s judicial system, Tseng said.
KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said the commission had simply become an offshoot of the DPP by allegedly trying to obstruct Huang’s referendum drive.
The commission should apologize to Huang and the public, Lai said.
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