TSU accuses KMT of electoral crimes

GHOST VOTERS::Taiwan Solidarity Union spokesman Yeh Chih-yuan, who is running for Taipei city councilor, urged Wu Den-yih to ‘show some respect’ and to confess to forgery

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Sep 04, 2018 - Page 3

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday reported the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) to prosecutors and accused them of forgery and breaching the Referendum Act (公民投票法) after the Central Election Commission on Thursday said that 1 percent of the signatures that the KMT submitted for three referendum proposals belonged to dead people.

Forging signatures for referendum petitions is a crime under Article 211 of the Criminal Code and Article 35 of the Referendum Act, TSU spokesman Yeh Chih-yuan (葉智遠) told a news conference outside the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday.

He urged prosecutors to investigate the accusations and called on the commission to reject the three referendum proposals in accordance with Article 13 of the act.

The KMT on Monday last week presented the commission with 1,456,966 signatures for three referendum drives launched by its members.

The proposals ask whether voters agree to phase out fossil fuel power plants, halt the construction of a coal power plant in New Taipei City’s Rueifang District (瑞芳) and maintain a ban on food products from five Japanese prefectures imposed after the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster.

The commission on Thursday said that some of the signatures that the KMT collected for the proposals were forged, as many appeared to be in the same handwriting and written with the same pen.

One percent of the apparent signatories had passed away before the proposals were launched, it said.

When asked about the “dead signatories” on Friday, Wu said it was “difficult to avoid,” adding that the commission could just remove those forms.

“We want to tell Wu that dead people cannot sign a petition and how ridiculous that was. Please show some respect for people who have passed away and do not use them to fabricate lies,” said Yeh, who is running for Taipei city councilor in the Songshan (松山) and Xinyi (信義) constituencies.

If Wu still has a conscience, he should admit forgery and the court could still give him a chance to start over, Yeh added.

“Considering the amount of signatures the KMT collected, you would expect to have seen them collecting signatures on every street, but they have remained mostly unnoticed until they suddenly managed to deliver such an amount of signatures,” TSU social campaign department head Ouyang Jui-lien (歐陽瑞蓮) said.

“We are wondering where all those signatures came from,” she said. “Did Chairman Wu make ghosts sign the petitions by offering incense during Ghost Month?”

Under the Referendum Act, anyone who makes others launch, relinquish, sign or vote on a referendum proposal through coercion, intimidation or other illicit means can be sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison.