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Thu, Jan 18, 2001 - Page 3 News List

Ex-deputies set sights on legislature

POLITICAL PLAN Six DPP members who promoted the marginalization of the National Assembly aim to initiate similar changes in the Legislative Yuan

By Stephanie Low  /  STAFF REPORTER

A group of six former National Assembly deputies from the DPP yesterday announced their plans to run for legislative seats as part of a plan to "terminate the Legislative Yuan."

The deputies, who promoted a suicidal move in the constitutional reform in April last year that led to the marginalization of the National Assembly, dubbed themselves "experienced old hands" in constitutional reforms.

"After the National Assembly was sent into history, we see that the Legislative Yuan has become a new source of chaos in our country. Politicians with a `black-gold' background are everywhere in the legislature, and political struggles have taken place one after another," said Chen Chin-te (陳金德), who acted as convener of the DPP caucus in the National Assembly during last year's constitutional reform.

After the marginalization of the National Assembly, most of its original functions, including the power to initiate a constitutional amendment, were transferred to the Legislative Yuan.

Chen promised that after being elected legislators, they will push for a fresh round of constitutional reforms to build a "new Congress."

In addition to Chen Chin-te, the other five initiators of the drive were Law I-tieg (劉一德), Lan Shih-tsung (藍世聰), Chen Tsiao-long (陳朝龍), Chiu Kuo-chang (邱國昌) and Kang Tai-shan (康泰山).

According to their joint platform, reforms would include reducing the number of legislative seats from 225 to 123 and changing the electoral method to a single-member district, two-vote system (單一選區兩票制).

The first election for the "new Congress" would take place in March 2004, the same time as the next presidential election. The term of congressmen would be four years, the same as the president's.

While the president's appointment of the premier would need to obtain legislative approval, the president would have the power to dissolve Congress.

"This would offer a resolution to any stalemate resulting from a confrontation between the executive and legislative branches," Chen said.

On changes to the government structure, the group favors abolishing the Examination Yuan and Control Yuan to set up a three-branch government.

Meanwhile, Law noted that this cooperation between the former National Assembly deputies, and the highlighting of their accomplishments in their former positions, is part of an strategy to strengthen their ability to compete with sitting DPP legislators in the upcoming party primary.

"Every candidate retiring from the National Assembly is now facing the same problem in his or her constituency. We are seriously disadvantaged because the sitting legislators tend to be noticed a lot more," Law said.

Law said he hopes the participation of the former deputies in the party primary will "weed out" colleagues who are "incompetent."

The DPP is set to hold its two-stage primary between February and April to decide its nominees for the legislative elections scheduled for December. After candidates have been graded by public polls in the first stage, party members will then go to the ballot box.

The public polls and ballots will constitute 70 percent and 30 percent, respectively, of a candidate's overall score in the primary.

While the DPP is prepared to nominate around 80 candidates for the election, a total of 40 former National Assembly deputies have expressed their intention to join the primary. The deadline for registration for the primary is tomorrow.

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