Sat, Mar 02, 2002 - Page 3 News List

TSU files motion to halve the size of the legislature

By Stephanie Low  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) lawmakers yesterday officially filed a proposal with the Legislative Yuan for a constitutional amendment to cut the number of legislative seats by half to 113.

Su Ying-kuei (蘇盈貴), one of the initiators of the amendment, said the move had obtained the endorsement of 81 lawmakers across party lines, including Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and Vice Speaker Chiang Pin-kun (江丙坤).

Su pointed out that TSU candidates campaigned on the issue during the legislative elections and support for the move crosses party lines.

By reducing the number of legislators to 113 from the current 225, the government would be able to save up to NT$300 million every legislative term, Su said.

Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘), another TSU legislator, noted that many legislative candidates had raised similar proposals during the election campaign, although they differed on the scope of the reduction.

According to Chen's statistics, those supporting cutting the number by half include 43 legislators from the DPP, four from the KMT, eight from the TSU, four from the PFP and one independent.

Among those advocating a "reasonable" reduction of the seats were two DPP legislators and one KMT legislator, Chen said.

Also yesterday, the TSU re-leased a survey indicating that up to 84 percent of people support halving the number of legislative seats.

As much of 70 percent of people thought that the move would help stop the chaotic situation in the legislature and upgrade the quality of legislative proceedings.

The survey interviewed 1,053 people on Feb. 25 and Feb. 26, with the margin of error registering between plus or minus 2.9 percent.

With the approval of the Procedure Committee, the TSU-proposed amendment could be presented to the Legislative Yuan for its first reading as early as March 12.

The amendment would then be sent to the ad hoc 114-member Constitutional Reform Committee for review after passing the first reading.

In order to be made into law, a constitutional amendment must be passed in the legislature by a three-quarters majority and ratified by the National Assembly, also with a three-quarters majority.

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