DPP: ECFA Referendum Rejection is Illegal, Unconstitutional, Unconscionable

The Executive Yuan's Referendum Review Committee’s rejection of the ECFA referendum on August 29 was clearly riddled through and through by the vested interest of the ruling Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in unreservedly pushing for signing an ECFA with China without an objective and impartial review. This rejection was made through illegal and unconstitutional means, and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) absolutely opposes and will strongly protest this decision.

Whether or not to hold an ECFA referendum should be decided by the people and not by the referendum review committee, which is only responsible to review the substance of a proposed referendum. When the principle of national sovereignty is involved, by law a referendum must be held. At the same time, if ECFA is signed, it will greatly impact our industries, affect the employment prospects and lives of the public, and also widen the rich and poor divide. Therefore, it is the people, of course, who have the right to demand and decide on a referendum on this issue.

As of today, the Referendum Review Committee has expanded its delegated authority within the referendum law, and overstepped its legislative authority by conducting a review of substance, not only formality. The law doesn’t allow it to review substance, and only formality instead. This once again proves that the function of the Referendum Review Committee, a committee which the DPP has always opposed, is to be the referendum assassin and the black hand of the political leaders.

According to the review committee’s reasons for rejecting this referendum, no matter how the subject of the referendum is amended, if it is related to ECFA, then there is absolutely no chance for a referendum. Regarding this “fire the arrow before the bulls-eye is painted”, “reject first then make up an excuse” review, the Taiwanese people absolutely do not approve. However, the DPP will not give up our efforts to push for an ECFA referendum, and will not let-down the hundreds of thousand voters who signed the petition for a referendum, and we will live up to the expectations of supporters to direct democracy. We will immediately file another petition and do everything possible to make this referendum happen.