KMT: REFERENDUM VETOED ANTI-MISSILE PURCHASE PLAN
ROC Central News Agency
Taipei, Aug. 9 (CNA) The outcome of the referendum on Taiwan's self defense held at the same time as last year's presidential election vetoed the idea of Taiwan purchasing anti-missile weaponry, opposition Kuomintang (KMT) spokesman Chang Jung-kun said Tuesday.
Chang made the remarks amid the anger expressed by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) toward the KMT's objection to an arms procurement package, in which Taiwan wants to purchase eight diesel-electric submarines, six Patriot PAC III anti-missile batteries and a squadron of 12 P-3C anti-submarine aircraft from the U.S. for NT$480 billion.
Chang noted that the results of the referendum organized by the DPP government along with the presidential election on March 20 last year showed that the people were opposed to the government purchasing anti-missile systems.
In last year's referendum, the voters were asked whether the government should acquire more advanced anti-missile weapons and whether the government should engage in negotiations with mainland China on the establishment of a peace and stability framework for cross-strait interactions to build consensus and for the welfare of the peoples of both sides?"
Only 45.16 percent of voters cast the ballot on the first question, rendering the referendum invalid, as 50 percent had been previously determined as the threshold for the vote to be valid, although over 90 percent of those who did vote answered "yes" to both questions.
According to Chang, President Chen Shui-bian has ignored the results of the referendum, while criticizing the objections of the KMT to the arms purchase.
Concerning the reports that the World Federation of Taiwanese Associations will organize a mass demonstration on Sept. 25 calling for support for the arms procurement to strengthen Taiwan's national defense, Chang said President Chen should face the outcome of last year's referendum and make an open apology to the public for failing to respect the decision of the public.
(By Elisa Kao)
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