Wed, Sep 19, 2018 - Page 1 News List

NPP to push for referendum on constitutional changes

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

From left, New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang, and NPP legislators Hsu Yung-ming and Freddy Lim hold a news conference yesterday at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei to call on the government to combat fake news.

Photo: CNA

The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday said it would push for amendments to the Referendum Act (公民投票法) to allow the public to vote on changing the Constitution and national territory, which it said are “the most important issues the public should be able to decide in a direct democracy.”

With the new legislative session set to begin on Friday, the NPP said that its priorities include amending the Referendum Act and the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例).

The party had proposed the same amendments in December last year, but they were vetoed by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

Asked to comment on the DPP’s previous response, NPP Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said: “Why was the DPP brave enough to call for a referendum that would turn Taiwan into a normal nation when it was an opposition party, but abandoned the idea when it became the ruling party? By refusing to back the amendments, it ignored the most important issues people should be able to decide in a direct democracy, what the Referendum Act still owes the people.”

Whether people should be allowed to vote on the Constitution and national territory has been a subject of debate for more than 20 years, he said, adding that he hopes the DPP “would not make the same mistake again.”

The NPP will also promote amendments to the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area that would strip Chinese residency cardholders of their household registration in Taiwan, NPP caucus whip Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said.

With more than 20,000 Taiwanese reportedly having applied for the card, the NPP would propose that they be allowed to keep their household registration if they cancel their card within a certain period, he said, adding that is likely to be two months.

Asked if the party would back a KMT proposal to abolish the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例) following a scandal involving the Transitional Justice Commission last week, Hsu said the party would oppose it, but that it supports a personnel reshuffle at the commission and the promotion of a lustration law.

Commission Chairman Huang Huang-hsiung (黃煌雄) is “incompetent” and must be removed from his position, Huang Kuo-chang said.

Instead of thinking about what he could have done better, he simply said he has not had time to read internal documents, Huang Kuo-chang said.

When asked about the scandal, Huang Huang-hsiung on Monday said that he had not had a chance to read most of the official documents until the middle of July and that it was not until last month that work finally got on track at the commission, which was founded in May.

Chang Tien-chin (張天欽) resigned on Wednesday last week as commission deputy chairman after the Chinese-language Mirror Media magazine published a transcript of a commission meeting on Aug. 24, in which he proposed promoting a lustration law to influence public opinion about KMT New Taipei City mayoral candidate Hou You-yi (侯友宜).

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