The Central Election Commission (CEC) yesterday set the voting day for the 2008 presidential race at March 22, ruling out the possibility of having the legislative elections take place on the same day.
The schedule came as a disappointment for the opposition camp, which had asked that the presidential and legislative elections be held simultaneously.
The CEC last month decided that the legislative elections will be held Jan. 12.
People First Party spokesman Lee Hong-chun said it is a waste of money to hold the two races separately, as they will be only two months apart.
Lee argued that the fewer the elections, the more stable the country will be.
The Kuomintang also claimed that the CEC's decision against combining the races was made because of an objection by Frank Hsieh, the presidential candidate of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.
It's not easy for either party to see where the advantage lies in having elections separate or together. As A-gu points out, the PFP has reversed itself on the issue, and the DPP was split.
Next, former Premier Su Tseng-chang dropped out of consideration for the post of Veep. Su had been widely considered a front-runner for the position. He's popular, clean, and widely respected.
Former premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) declared yesterday he had no intention of being Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Frank Hsieh's (謝長廷) running mate, although he would campaign for him.
"I will spare no effort to campaign [for Hsieh]. But I don't want any position," Su told reporters.
"[Former vice premier] Yeh Chu-lan (
葉菊蘭) has been trying to become the vice presidential candidate," he said. "As a woman and a Hakka, I think it would be great if she could attract more votes to help the DPP win the election."
Hsieh-Su would have made a kickass pairing, but Hsieh-Yeh will make a good one as well. The relatively younger and female Yeh will make a nice contrast to Ma's choice of the 68 year old Vincent Siew as his veep. Yeh was married to Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕), the dissident publisher who burned himself to death in 1989.
Meanwhile, as former President Lee threw his vast weight behind the drive to get a referendum on the KMT's stolen assets, the KMT responded by considering a lawsuit on their asset losses during his days as party chairman:
The threat comes in the wake of Lee's endorsement of the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) campaign for a referendum on recovering the KMT's stolen assets.
Lee, who served as KMT chairman from 1988 to 2000, signed the DPP's signature drive in support of the proposed referendum in April.
The KMT took over numerous assets from the Japanese colonial government and seized assets from private businesses and individuals when it took control of Taiwan at the end of World War II.
KMT Culture and Communications Committee chairman Yang Tu (楊渡) said yesterday that the party's Asset Handling and Monitoring Committee had discovered 10 problematic deals from when Lee was head of the KMT and it had asked its lawyers to investigate the cases.
"There were so many asset deals during the 12 years Lee was chairman. We have to clarify the responsibility," Yang said at KMT headquarters.
"Each deal has its problems, and so we will have lawyers look into the cases and may seek a solution through litigation or negotiations," he said, although he refused to say if the party would sue Lee.
The KMT's party asset report released last August blamed Lee for NT$42.7 billion (US$1.309 billion) in losses through bad investments.
According to legend, the KMT also took another bath when it shoved the stock market down after the first Chen Shui-bian victory in 2000 to make it look as though the market did not approve of Chen, and American institutional investors rushed in to purchase shares offered at bargain prices. Lots of bad decisions have informed KMT actions over the last decade.