Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Taiwan Cabinet committee rejects DPP ECFA referendum plan

Taiwan Cabinet committee rejects DPP ECFA referendum plan

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Cabinet’s referendum review committee on Thursday rejected a request by the Democratic Progressive Party for a referendum about an Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China.
The committee ruled in a vote of 13 to four that the plebiscite request did not conform to the law. Opponents said the DPP proposal was too vague, and was directed at a future topic. A referendum should only be held about a situation that already existed, the opponents on the committee reportedly argued. The DPP can still file an appeal.
On July 20, the opposition DPP submitted its project, accompanied by 123,462 signatures, to the Central Election Commission, which agreed to pass on the file to the government committee on July 28.
The DPP dossier was built around the question “Do you agree that the government should call a referendum to allow the Taiwanese people to decide on the proposed ECFA between Taiwan and China?”
Government leaders have rejected the DPP claims, saying no referendum is needed because the accord will purely be an economic matter and not affect the country’s sovereignty or political status.
President Ma Ying-jeou has been a vocal supporter of ECFA, saying the agreement is necessary to protect Taiwan’s competitiveness in the face of new free trade agreements between China, Japan, South Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations beginning in 2010.
The Ma administration has said negotiations between Taiwan and China about ECFA should begin by the end of the year and result in its official signing some time next year at the latest.
The DPP says Ma has been vague about the details of the accord because it will have negative consequences for Taiwan. The opposition predicts it will damage the country’s sovereignty as well as its economy. Cheap Chinese imports will drive local competitors out of business, worsening the unemployment situation. The jobless rate reached a record 6.07 percent in July, according to government data released last Monday.
Taiwan’s Referendum Act requires that at least 0.5 percent of all eligible voters in the last presidential election endorse a referendum initiative. The DPP collected more than 120,000 signatures, almost half more than the required 86,608, reports said.
If the Cabinet’s referendum review committee had approved the DPP request Thursday, the next stage would have required the party to start collecting signatures from more than 5 percent of the eligible voters in the March 2008 presidential elections.


Updated : 2021-06-13 01:36 GMT+08:00