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Chang says 'one-step' voting process will be implemented

Chang says 'one-step' voting process will be implemented

Central Election Commission Chairman Chang Cheng-hsiung yesterday dismissed local media reports that the CEC was prepared to be flexible regarding the "two-step" voting procedure proposed by the opposition Kuomintang, adding that the "one-step" voting method must be implemented throughout Taiwan's 25 localities in the January legislative election and referendums.
Chang made the remarks in response to a local news report earlier in the day that the CEC had agreed to allow local governments some flexibly regarding the "two-step" voting method. The report claimed that the CEC made the concession after CEC Secretary-General Teng Tien-you said on Wednesday that a new "two-step" voting procedure proposed by Taitung County was "not unlawful," although the CEC was not endorsing the new plan.
Participants in the Wednesday meeting discussed the legality of having voters engage in two rounds of voting in the legislative election and two referendums at the standard one-step polling stations, and finally decided that such a procedure should be considered effective.
However, some local media reports interpreted the decision as an acceptance of the proposed "two-step" voting procedure, and concession by the CEC to remain flexible in this regard.
Chang said yesterday that voters should cast all their ballots before leaving the polling station. However, if a voter does not take all four ballots at once but wants to cast another ballot voting in the legislative poll or on one of the referendums, the CEC aid it would allow for this.
"We consider such scenario an exception rather than the standard, but we are neither encouraging nor prohibiting such an arrangement," said Chang.
Also on Wednesday night, the CEC at a meeting revised the Organic Law of Local Election Commission to allow the premier to "leave vacant" the seat of any local commission member who fails to fulfill his or her duties because of illness, a violation of the law, neglect of duty, or because he or she was indicted or arrested. The "leave vacant" phrase was used to replace the term "to dismiss" in the bill.
KMT legislative caucus whip Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) yesterday described the CEC's amendment of the law as contradictory to the Constitution and therefore invalid.
Tseng also charged that the move amounted to an imposition of martial law, and claimed that the CEC was planning to remove a local election commission chairman yesterday.
When asked to comment yesterday on the possibility of sacking local election commission heads, Chang said no decision had yet been made.
"So far we have not yet made any decision on this matter. This is a sensitive issue and I have no details to report at this time," said Chang.
Meanwhile, although the local governments under KMT rule had asserted they would stick to the "two-step" voting procedure, they also appeared to be prepared to accommodate the "one-step" voting plan.
The Taipei City Government's training booklet for polling station workers also contained information regarding the "one-step" procedure. The trainees said they were confused by the city government's arrangements and were not sure about the final decision on the issue.


Updated : 2021-07-25 10:40 GMT+08:00