KMT wants to make recalls more difficult
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-05-10 02:56 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Legislators from the ruling Kuomintang wanted to add new rules to the procedures for recalling lawmakers, drawing accusations from the opposition that they were trying to restrict basic democratic practices.

The main author of the proposal, Wu Yu-sheng, has been listed by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party and by social groups as a target for an eventual recall because of his close ties to President Ma Ying-jeou. Critics accuse him of representing Ma’s opinion, and not public opinion.

Wu’s proposed amendment to the Election and Recall Act would require citizens putting their names to a petition for a recall also to add copies of their identity card and a signature to a release form.

Under the existing law, the person who proposes the recall has to write his full name, ID number and basic data, and provide an explanation of why an elected politician should be recalled. Signatories to the petition only have to write down their name, ID number and address.

Wu said the change would prevent fraud and benefit both parties, but opposition politicians said he was deliberately trying to restrict the possibility of recalls because he and several colleagues were facing recall action.

A Legislative Yuan committee decided Friday that the proposal would be the fourth item for discussion on the agenda for next Tuesday.

Wu said his amendment would benefit both parties, since DPP lawmaker Chen Ou-po was recently targeted for a recall after he allegedly made a scene at the funeral of Ma’s mother.

KMT official Fan Chiang Tai-chi said the party fully supported Wu’s proposal because it would be effective in making fraud more difficult and bring the law even more in line with the spirit of the rule of law.

The changes proposed by Wu would apply to lawmakers from both the ruling camp and the opposition and make the existing law more reliable and complete, the party official said. The truthfulness of a petition for a recall would become easier to check and forgery would become much harder, according to Fan Chiang.

Wu and several of his KMT colleagues have been criticized as being too close to Ma, especially during the recent debates about the trade-in-services pact with China and about the fourth nuclear plant. The former issue provoked an occupation of the Legislative Yuan by students, while the latter led to a hunger strike by former DPP Chairman Lin Yi-hsiung.

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