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CEC approves ECFA referendum request
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
Page 3
2010-05-05 12:00 AM
The Central Election Commission approved a request from the opposition Taiwan Solidarity Union for a referendum about the government's plans for an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China, reports said yesterday.

According to the law, the CEC is now supposed to hand over the referendum application to the Executive Yuan Referendum Review Committee, which should give a ruling within 30 days. If the committee also gives the green light, the TSU will have to collect more than 800,000 signatures in the next phase of the referendum campaign.

Last year, the government committee rejected a similar referendum application from the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party.

The CEC said it had approved the first phase of the TSU referendum request because it was backed up by 109,720 signatures, or more than the necessary minimum of 86,608. The legal minimum amounts to 0.5 percent of the number of eligible voters in the previous presidential election.

The opposition has been demanding a plebiscite about ECFA because it says that the eventual accord, which the government insists on signing in June at the latest, will harm Taiwan's sovereignty as well as its economy.

DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen held a historic televised debate about ECFA with President Ma Ying-jeou on April 25. Opponents of the accord reportedly plan massive protests on May 20, the second anniversary of Ma's inauguration, and on June 6, shortly before the expected signing.

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