A by-election for Taichung's newly vacant legislative seat will be held on Jan. 9, three weeks after the national referendums, leading to questions of why the Central Election Commission didn't schedule the two on the same day.
A by-election to fill the vacant legislative seat left behind by recalled lawmaker Chen Po-wei will be held on Jan. 9. The Central Election Commission is being criticized for not scheduling the by-election on the same day as the public referendums on Dec. 18. CEC Chair Lee Chin-yung says public referendums have to do with policies and elections have to do with people, and the two shouldn't be mixed. Premier Su Tseng-chang agrees.
Su Tseng-chang, Premier, ROC: “A by-election is held to elect a person. A public referendum has to do with a policy. People and policies should not be mixed together. This is what's written in the laws.”
Lee Chin-yung, Chair, Central Election Commission, A public referendum has to do with a policy. An election or by-election has to do with a person. From a legal spirit perspective, there is no reason to combine a public referendum with an election. So, we hope everyone can stop wanting to mix the two together. With the public referendums approaching, the Democratic Progressive Party is on the offensive. In June, its Central Executive Committee approved a NT$58 million special budget. On Oct. 27, the party notified all local branches about allocations and subsidies, including up to NT$25,000 per person for billboards. The Kuomintang says the DPP can't escape the fate that the referendums will turn into a no-confidence vote against the Cabinet.
Chen Yu-jen, Legislator (KMT):“You can think of this as a vote for confidence in the government. If the number of yes votes greatly exceeds the number of not votes, Tsai Ing-wen, as the leader of the nation, will have to think about the people she has surrounded herself with in the Su Cabinet. She also has to think about whether she can win back public trust. You can think of this as a referendum to no-confidence vote against the Cabinet.”
Chen Ting-fei, Legislator (DPP): “From the past until now, the party has always allocated funds for various activities and everyone shows up. There is no "overturning the Cabinet" issue.”
According to reports, the DPP is considering former lawmaker Lin Ching-yi as its candidate in the by-election. Chen says he will campaign for Lin.
Chen Po-wei, Former Legislator (TSP): “You have to be tough on the outside and soft on the inside. In the political arena, her role is very similar to mine. I will do everything I can to help.”
There is a lot at stake for both the pan-blue and pan-green with the referendums widely regarded as a warmup for the by-election.