Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) yesterday said he would propose a constitutional amendment to abolish the Control Yuan, saying it was time to change the current system of government with its five branches.
“Given the high threshold for a constitutional amendment to pass, [abolishing the Control Yuan] would be difficult, but I’m hoping that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers would support the proposal to resolve the nation’s biggest problem,” Lee told a news conference.
“The biggest problem of this country is that all branches [of government] have come to a standstill,” he said, blaming it on a “flawed” system of government.
Lee said he has always advocated changing the five branches of government as provided in the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution to a Western-style three-power system by abolishing the Control Yuan and the Examination Yuan, leaving only the Executive Yuan, the Legislative Yuan and the Judicial Yuan.
ROC founding father Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) added the two traditional Chinese government branches to serve as a watchdog and supervise civil service examinations.
Sun’s design has created ambiguity of authority and responsibility among the different branches, Lee said, adding that the recent controversies surrounding the infighting at the Control Yuan has not helped either.
He was referring to the Control Yuan’s veto of the impeachment of Keelung Mayor Chang Tong-rong (張通榮), who has been convicted of influence peddling and interfering with police matters when he demanded that a woman detained for drunk driving be released, and the war of rhetoric between Control Yuan President Wang Chien-hsien (王建煊) and Control Yuan members.
Lee proposed transferring the rights of impeachment and censure to the Legislative Yuan, with three ombudsmen in charge of government monitoring, while the right of audit could be transferred either to an independent agency or a department of the Legislative Yuan.
Lee also recommended authorizing the Legislative Yuan, which currently only has the right of document request, with the right of investigation so that the legislative branch could handle all cases of inappropriate government practices with full authority.
As for public servants’ assets declaration, the task could be handled by the Agency Against Corruption at the Ministry of Justice, he said.
The proposal should have no problem passing the first phase, which requires the signatures of more than a quarter, or 29, of the 113-member legislature to launch the proposal. The next stage may be more difficult, as the proposal has to win the votes of more than three-quarters of the attendees in a legislative plenary before being sent to a national referendum.
DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) endorsed the proposal and said that concerns raised by several academics and KMT lawmakers about the amendment were unnecessary.
“Yes, we are trying to ‘overthrow Sun Yat-sen’s legacy’ like they said, but please be reminded that the same things had been said when the National Assembly was abolished. Did its abolition cause political instability?” Chen said.
Chen also played down the possibility that the three-power system would make the legislature a “constitutional monster” with too much power.
On Monday, the Taiwan Solidarity Union caucus also told a press conference that it would propose an amendment in the next legislative session to abolish the Control Yuan.