President-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that the incumbent government needs to enter “caretaker mode” as voters expect, after President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said that the word “caretaker” is not in his dictionary.
Ma’s said that he still has four months in office and called for a Cabinet to be formed by the new majority party in the legislature.
However, Tsai said that according to the nation’s principles of constitutional operation, voters have decreed that “the incumbent government [then] enters caretaker mode.”
“Entering caretaker mode does not mean doing nothing,” Tsai said. “There are several tasks that need to be undertaken by the government. First, government operations have to be maintained; second, the political state needs to be kept stable; third, they need to facilitate a smooth transition of power.”
“It is not the first party change the nation has faced. There are precedents to be followed set in 2000, as well as 2008,” she added.
Tsai said the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is willing to assist with the transition.
“It is certainly appropriate for the Cabinet led by Premier Mao [Chi-kuo 毛治國] to stay and do the caretaker job, but if Mao decides not to, President Ma should find an experienced and trustworthy person in the Cabinet to take over operations,” she said.
Mao tendered his resignation on Saturday last week after the elections and released a statement on Thursday saying that while feeling sorry for causing trouble, his “decision to quit will not change.”
Mao said he stopped receiving a salary as of Saturday last week.
Separately yesterday, the DPP legislative caucus announced plans to carry out reforms in the legislature, focusing on issues such as: the impartiality of the legislative speaker; not blocking draft bills in the Procedure Committee, where motions get placed on the legislative agenda; refocusing the weight of legislative operations on legislative committees; committee meeting transparency; full broadcasting of legislative meetings; and the self-discipline of lawmakers.
DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said that while the party had proposed various reform-related proposals, they previously had little chance of being discussed due to the party’s minority state in the legislature.
As the DPP has won the majority for the next legislature, it would pass relevant bills in the next session, he added.
DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said that in past legislatures, the Procedure Committee was where Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members blocked reform-related bills.
“One of our reforms is to revise Procedure Committee regulations to allow draft bills, after meeting mandatory requirements, to be directly referred to the committee for deliberation, rather than requiring the Procedure Committee’s consent,” Lee said.
The “committee-centered” legislative operation indicates that the bills could not be sent out of the committee for the general assembly’s cross-party negotiation if one-third of the clauses in the bill failed to obtain the committee’s consensus and stayed in “reserve,” Lee added.
As for lawmakers’ self-discipline, Lee said it is to prevent lawmakers having paid part-time employment.
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