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Elections merger needs no new law or amendment: Control Yuan

2011/04/08 20:48:05

Taipei, April 8 (CNA) Merging the presidential and legislativeelections to the same day does not violate any laws, and requires nonew legislation, two members of the Control Yuan said Friday.

In a report written by the government watchdog body, Lee Ping-nanand Chou Yang-sun clarified the path forward to merging the nextpresidential and legislative elections into one big election inmid-January 2012.

Currently, legislative elections occur three months before thecountry chooses a president.

The merger requires no amendment to the Public Officials Electionand Recall Act, Lee and Chou said.

The report cites a total of 18 elections for 27 kinds of publicoffices held in Taiwan in the last decade, and claims this costTaiwan NT$14.3 billion (US$493 million) . The high frequency ofelections exerts a heavy price on governance as well. When officialsfocus on campaigning, particularly for presidential elections, theyend up neglecting their government work.

According to Lee and Chou, this causes officials to put forthshort-sighted policies that hurt Taiwan's internationalcompetitiveness.

Since combining elections is something the majority of Taiwanesewant, the Control Yuan said agencies should spare no effort to do so.This would prevent government from functioning aimlessly, and beeasier on the country's pocketbook.

(By Sophia Yeh and Deborah Kuo)