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.”

美參議員提出決議案呼籲支持台灣民主及人權

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」。

IEOM的報告中係由來自八個國家共十九位觀察員共同草擬。報告中指出包括買票、行政不中立,及中國試圖干預等幾項因素,可能影響了選舉的最終結果。報告中也指出,美國政府的部分言行也存有立場不中立的成分。

該報告並提道:「台灣自由開放的社會扮演著維持亞太地區安定的角色,同時也是促進包括美國在內的週邊國家的和平、繁榮,及穩定的助力。」該決議案中並建議美國政府在持續支持台灣的民主與人權時所應採取之行動:

· 鼓勵台灣政府及人民繼續強化民主及人權價值,包括言論自由、集會自由,以及媒體自由;

· 鼓勵台灣政府及人民在致力於強化民主及人權時,也應審慎檢視國際選舉監督團的建議,包括IEOM最終的報告,

· 確立台灣的未來必須由台灣人民同意,以民主和平的方式解決。

IEOM領隊,前阿拉斯加州長穆考斯基(Frank Murkowski)說道:「我很高興見到我們此行所提出的報告被納入國會紀錄中。這是對台灣人民過去二十年致力於民主的認同,但也同時代表著要達到公平選舉的境地仍有許多需要努力的。」

邀請該觀察團訪台的ICFET主席彭明敏教授表示:「我們很感謝穆考斯基州長、克拉克(Woodrow Clark,該報告主筆)博士,及觀察團團員的努力。他們幫助我們在台灣為民主人權及言論、集會,和媒體自由奮鬥。過去四年這些重要價值有退化的現象。我們要確保台灣維持著自由和民主。」

台灣人公共事務會會長高龍榮博士表示:「台灣每一次的選舉都代表其更加實現並強化民主的寶貴機會。」高博士總結道:「穆考斯基參議員的決議案不只認同台灣難能可貴的民主自由價值,更提供美國政府一個永久的框架,以利持續思考此次選舉的課題。」

(August 2, 2012) U.S. Senators Introduce Resolution Calling For Support For Democracy And Human Rights In Taiwan / 美參議員提出決議案呼籲支持台灣民主及人權