Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice presidential candidate Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) condemned the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday for setting a bad precedent with its pledge to boycott the Central Election Commission's (CEC) proposed plan to distribute the ballots for next March's presidential election and the UN referendum together.
Eighteen pan-blue governed cities and counties signed a joint statement on Wednesday pledging to distribute the ballots separately.
"The KMT has set a very bad example, and it would spark a vicious cycle if it became the ruling party and pan-green run local governments resisted its decisions," Su said after attending a Taipei City hot spring promotional event in Beitou (
Su condemned the KMT for creating a confrontation between the central government and local governments and urged local governments to cooperate with the central government.
Speaking as a former Pingtung County and Taipei County commissioner, Su said he had never seen local governments resist central government policies.
Meanwhile, the KMT caucus threw its support behind the 18 local governments yesterday.
KMT caucus whip Kuo Su-chun (
Huang was quoted by the Chinese-language China Times on Wednesday as saying that distributing the ballots together could lead to disorder.
The paper quoted him as warning the commission that conflicts could erupt between pan-blue and pan-green supporters on election day and urging the commission to be selfless, discreet and impartial.
"The CEC should not be exploited by the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] as a tool of political wrangling," Kuo said yesterday. "A [former] member of the commission has publicly urged it to make a wise and conscientious decision."
KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (
"The local governments need to deal with the ballots of the KMT's UN referendum, and so the [local government] heads were making a genuine suggestion, not boycotting the government's decision," Ma said.
He said some local governments made the same suggestion during the 2004 presidential election, and were able to persuade the CEC to distribute the two ballots separately -- and that had helped the elections run smoothly.
During the legislative elections on Jan. 12, referendums will be held on the DPP's proposal to recover the KMT's stolen assets and the KMT's proposal to give the legislature the power to investigate the president and his or her subordinates involved in alleged corruption.
Two other proposed referendums -- the DPP's call to use the name "Taiwan" to join the UN and KMT's call to "return" to the UN using the title "Republic of China" or other practical titles -- have not yet passed the second signature threshold.
The government wants to hold the UN referendums together with the presidential poll if the signature threshold can be met.
DPP Legislator Wang Tuoh (
"I think if we do this, our pan-blue friends shall not have any more grounds for complaint," Wang told a press conference, adding that his suggestion would simplify the entire process.
"They [the pan-blues] the want to make things easier. My suggestion makes things easier for sure," Wang said.
"I took [the pan-blues' statement] as a humiliation of my fellow Taiwanese," he said. "They never provided evidence to prove that it [holding the elections and referendums together] would create disorder."
CEC Secretary-General Teng Tien-yu (鄧天佑) said yesterday that the commission had not decided how the ballots for the two elections would be issued.
"We will not make a decision until after the meeting tomorrow," Teng said.
Both the pan-blue and the pan-green camps believe ballot distribution could have a significant impact on the legislative and presidential elections.
In related news, the Third Society Party is scheduled to stage a demonstration outside the CEC today to protest the commission's plan to raise the registration deposit for legislative candidates.
Jou Yi-cheng (周奕成), convener of the party, said the DPP and the KMT are likely to join forces to push for a hike in the deposit from NT$200,000 to NT$500,000.
Such a move would make it harder for smaller parties with limited resources to run candidates, Jou said.
Green Party Taiwan Secretary-General Pan Han-shen (潘翰聲) said increasing the deposit would mean that only wealthy or well-connected people could run in elections.
Additional reporting by Ko Shu-ling, Jimmy Chuang and Loa Iok-sin
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