The legislature’s Procedure Committee yesterday passed a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus-proposed bill aimed at establishing a protocol to regulate transfers of power for the period between presidential elections and their inaugurations.
The proposal is now listed on Friday’s legislative agenda. In the hope that the proposed bill could be passed before the current legislative session goes into recess next Wednesday, the DPP caucus yesterday said it would demand that the bill be put directly to a second reading during Friday’s plenary session and then be put to discussion, along with a similar proposal by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟).
The DPP caucus’ version would stipulate that as soon as the Central Election Commission (CEC) announces an election result, the president-elect must establish an office to handle pre-inauguration matters. During the transitional period, officials from the central government should brief the -president-elect on their respective departments’ affairs, it added.
As for an incumbent who fails in a re-election bid, he or she must neither appoint nor transfer officials during the period between Election Day and the day she or he leaves office, it said. With the exception of those that have been passed by the legislature, all directives, budgets and policies that the president-elect deems controversial should be put on hold for the president-elect and vice president-elect to deal with after they assume office, it added.
The main difference between the DPP version and the KMT caucus’ version (which was later combined with the version proposed by Lu) was that the KMT caucus was of the opinion that a “handover committee” should be established within seven days of the CEC’s announcement of the election result. The KMT caucus’ version suggested that a committee head be appointed by the president-elect, while both the incumbent and the president-elect select five people each to serve as members of the committee.
The CEC’s decision earlier this year to merge next year’s presidential election and the legislative elections means the presidential vote, which was supposed to be held in March next year, will take place in January, creating an unprecedented four-month gap between the presidential election and the president-elect’s inauguration on May 20.
A number of academics have expressed concerns over the four-month transition period on issues such as whether there should be an en masse resignation of the Cabinet and whether the caretaker government would refrain from making major policy changes.
Additional reporting by CNA