TSU to launch new ECFA referendum: chairman

Focus Taiwan

18 August 2010

Taipei, Aug. 18 (CNA) Opposition Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Chairman Huang Kun-huei said Wednesday that the party has decided to push for a national referendum on a controversial trade pact with China for a third time.

During a luncheon with pro-independence groups, Huang contended that the economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA) ratified by the Legislative Yuan late Tuesday will mostly benefit a few businesses at the expense of the majority of Taiwan’s people.

He also predicted that the existing ban on certain Chinese agricultural products and all Chinese workers will soon be lifted, which he said would have a negative impact on local citizens.

The government has adamantly denied that it would ease the twin bans as it liberalizes trade with China.

Huang complained that although the people have a constitutional right to hold referendums, the Executive Yuan’s Referendum Review Committee has twice rejected the TSU’s ECFA referendum initiative on technical grounds.

The party will initiate a new referendum to disband the committee and also start collecting signatures for a third ECFA referendum proposal, the TSU chairman said.

"We want to know to what extent the government will ignore public opinion," Huang said. "Referendums are the last line of defense for Taiwan’s democracy. We will file ECFA proposals as often as they are rejected."

The third referendum proposal would still ask "Do you agree with the government’s plan to sign a ’Cross-Strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement’ with China?" the TSU chairman said.

Former Vice President Annette Lu, who was also present at the luncheon, accused the ruling Kuomintang-controlled Legislative Yuan of rushing the bill through, saying that after the trade pact goes into effect, it could have many adverse political, economic, diplomatic and military effects.

Lu also said there was an immediate need to guide the public on ways to respond and adapt to the new ECFA era and formulate measures to deal with the deal’s consequences.

(By Sophia Yeh and Y.L. Kao)


source: Focus Taiwan