U.S. Senators Introduce Resolution Calling For Support For Democracy And Human Rights In Taiwan
Today, Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Mark Begich (D-AK) jointly introduced a resolution “Expressing the Sense of Senate that the United States Government should continue to support democracy and human rights in Taiwan following the January 2012 presidential and legislative elections in Taiwan.”
S.Res. 542 cites the summarized conclusions of a recently released report by the International Election Observation Mission (IEOM) to the International Committee for Fair Elections in Taiwan (ICFET) that the national elections held in Taiwan on January 14, 2012, were “mostly free but only partly fair.” The full report is available at the ICFET website at: http://www.taiwanelections.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Taiwan-2012-Elections-IEOM-Final-Report.pdf
The report by the IEOM, which was made up of 19 observers from 8 countries, identified several diverse elements, including vote buying, violations of administrative neutrality, and attempts by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to influence the elections as worrying factors which may have affected the election outcome. The report also stated that some actions and statements by the US government revealed a lack of neutrality on its part.
Further stating that “Taiwan’s free and open society plays a stabilizing role in the Asia Pacific region and is thus conducive to the interests of states in the region, including the United States, in furthering peace, prosperity and stability, “ the resolution outlines several recommendations in support of its stated goal of continuing U.S. support for democracy and human rights in Taiwan, including:
· encouraging the people and the Government of Taiwan to take steps to continue to strengthen protection of democratic values and human rights in their country, including freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of the press;
· encouraging the people and government of Taiwan to take into consideration the conclusions and recommendations of international election monitoring missions, including the final International Election Observation Mission (IEOM) report, as they seek to strengthen their democratic practices and human rights protections;
· affirming that the future of Taiwan should be resolved peacefully, in accordance with democratic principles, and with the assent of the people of Taiwan.
Former governor Frank Murkowski, who led the IEOM mission, states: “I am pleased to see the work of our mission culminating in the insertion of the report into the Congressional Record. It is a recognition of the hard work of the Taiwanese people achieving their democracy during the past two decades, but it is also a signal that much work still remains to be done in terms of fairness of the elections and establishing a level playing field.”
Professor Peng Ming-min, the chairman of the International Committee for Fair Elections in Taiwan (ICFET), who invited the mission to observe the elections, states: “We are grateful to governor Murkowski, Dr. Woodrow Clark (the lead author of the report), and the members of the observation mission for their work. It helps us in Taiwan in our fight to protect the values of democracy, human rights, and freedom of speech, assembly and the press. There has been an erosion of these values during the past four years. We want to ensure that Taiwan remains a free democracy.”
Dr. Mark Kao, president of the Washington-based Formosan Association for Public Affairs, also hails the introduction of the resolution, saying that “Each election in Taiwan’s young democracy represents a precious opportunity to improve its capacity for democratic practice.” Dr. Kao concludes: “Senator Murkowski’s resolution not only recognizes the value of hard-fought democratic freedoms in Taiwan, but will provide an enduring framework for the United States government to continue considering the lessons of the January 2012 election.”
2012年8月2日，華府訊）阿拉斯加州共和黨參議員穆考斯基（Lisa Murkowski）與民主黨參議員貝吉奇（Mark Begich）於今日共同提出標題為「參議院敦促美國政府應於2012年1月台灣總統暨立法委員選舉後，繼續支持台灣民主及人權」之決議案。
該決議文擷取「國際選舉觀察團」（International Election Observation Mission，IEOM）呈交給「台灣公正選舉國際委員會」（International Committee for Fair Elections in Taiwan，ICFET）的報告中之結論：「台灣於2012年1月14日所舉行之選舉雖屬自由開放，但其部分仍屬不公」。