Mon, Nov 17, 2003 - Page 3 News List

KMT stole our policy, DPP says

PLAGIARIZED Pan-green officials lined up to blast Lien Chan's reform plans, saying that they were a copy of President Chen's recent announcements

By Lin Chieh-yu and Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday said that a proposal by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) to draft a new constitution was a blatant rip-off of the ruling party's policy.

On Saturday, Lien mapped out a three-step plan for constitutional reform that will set in motion a referendum for a new constitution. The KMT's proposal puts a new constitution to the public vote two years earlier than President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) timetable outlined in September.

"Lien's three-step proposal is off-key. He has not only plagiarized our party's proposal but also proposed something in an imitative, contradictory and arbitrary way," DPP Deputy Secretary General Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) said.

"The amendment of the Constitution is an important national reform plan that requires consolidating different opinions before setting up a timetable, but Lien has totally ignored the reality and brought up his proposal in a hasty way," Lee said, "Obviously, this is for the sake of the presidential election."

At a campaign rally in Taitung on Saturday, Chen told supporters that Lien's U-turn on the issue made a mockery of the Constitution.

Lien had earlier said that Chen's proposal to introduce a new constitution in 2006 was "nonsense."

Chen said that drawing up a new constitution was a serious issue and called on the opposition party to support a new constitutional draft proposed by the Executive Yuan.

Chen noted that the KMT had criticized him for his proposal on behalf of the DPP to introduce a new constitution in 2006 and denounced the plan as a dangerous move that would bring Taiwan into a war.

"It is incoherent for the KMT to denounce my referendum proposal but bring up a new constitutional plan that will be held two years earlier than the DPP's," Chen said.

Chen said that his planned constitutional referendum in 2006 requires two-and-a-half years of preparation, including the establishment of a committee composed of academics and experts from different fields, introducing a draft of the new constitution in 2004 and calling a national meeting to discuss it in 2005.

Chen said, "The new constitution cannot be drawn up by one party, so we will invite the ruling and opposition parties to join the meeting, and, after reaching a consensus, we will bring it to our citizens and call a referendum in 2006. Then the constitution will be announced in 2007 and implemented in 2008 by the new president."

Chen added that it is impossible for Lien to implement his plan, as there is not enough time to call a referendum by the end of the next year and the passage of the constitution requires the support of three-quarters of the legislature.

Lee said, "It is impossible for the KMT to implement its plan in the legislature that is equally divided between the blue and green camps."

"Moreover, the pan-blue camp is still divided on the new constitutional proposal," he said. "As it is still a question of whether the pan-blue camp will support the new constitution, it takes time for negotiation and cannot be decided by one person."

Lee noted that even Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou, (馬英九) a KMT political star, had expressed a different view from Lien.

"After Ma denounced Chen's constitutional proposal at [Saturday's] rally, Lien came up with his proposal," he said, "That not only embarrasses Ma but also highlights the internal conflict in the pan-blue camp."

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top