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DPP chairwoman renews call for referendum on ECFA

2010/04/09 16:09:21

Taipei, April 9 (CNA) Opposition Democratic Progressive Party(DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen on Friday renewed her party's call fora referendum to settle the differences over a proposed economiccooperation framework agreement (ECFA) with China.

Tsai said she will responsibly present her party's views whendebating the issue with President Ma Ying-jeou April 25 and will"leave the final choice to the people."

"The most effective way to resolve social confrontation is tohold a referendum to allow the people to decide on the ECFA on theirown, " Tsai said when receiving representatives of the CitizenCongress Watch, a civic organization monitoring legislators.

According to Tsai, Taiwan is a country suitable for referendumsbecause of the high educational level of its people and its maturingsociety.

Multiple options should be available in a democratic society, shesaid, expressing disagreement with a media report claiming that "ECFAis Taiwan's only option."

She noted that President Ma has insisted since 2008 that signingthe agreement with China was a necessity but said that the oppositionhad yet to obtain any comprehensive information regarding itsdetails.

She voiced disappointment at the Presidential Office's refusal toprovide the information requested by the DPP in preparation for thedebate.

The DPP has requested access to the early harvest list proposedby the government, the draft of the agreement, andgovernment-commissioned ECFA assessment reports.

The Presidential Office turned down the proposal, however, sayingthe information had to be withheld because the negotiations are stillgoing on.

Tsai explained that the DPP was asking for the informationbecause it wants to ensure the debate will be conducted on an equalfooting, not because it was "playing a dirty trick, " as thePresidential Office alleged.

Through the debate, the DPP hopes that Ma will directly explainto the people the purposes and possible impact of the ECFA and thegovernment's countermeasures, she said.

(By Y.F. Low)