Sat, Nov 29, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Yu lashes out at legislature over referendum law

By Lin Chieh-yu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Premier Yu Shyi-kun yesterday severely criticized the Legislative Yuan for passing what he called a bad referendum law, saying that the legislature, which is dominated by the pan-blue alliance, has violated the essence of democracy to expand its own power. He accused the pan-blue camp of fattening their purses and practicing dictatorship.

"The bill that was passed yesterday has deprived the Executive Yuan of the right to initiate referendums, and some of the articles even contradict the Constitution," Yu said.

Yu made these remarks yesterday morning before he went to the Legislative Yuan for a hearing.

He stressed that since citizens cannot initiate a referendum on the issue of constitutional reform, it will be impossible for the legislature to realize the importance of parliamentary reforms, such as downsizing the number of seats in the Legislative Yuan and improving the election mechanism.

"The Taiwanese people have long expected to ... cut the number of seats in the legislature, which has been criticized as the source of chaos. The passage of the law has expanded the power of the Legislative Yuan and the public has lost their basic rights," Yu said.

He said that this amounted to an assembly dictatorship, because any reform of the legislature would involve constitutional amendments, and these amendments must be approved by the legislators.

"Therefore it would be impossible to bring about reform in the Legislature," he said.

In response to a question about whether the Cabinet would propose overturning the new Referendum Law, Yu said that the Executive Yuan does not rule out the possibility, but this would have to wait until they have received more details about the bill.

Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said that the bill would not be finalized until next Tuesday and that all parties still have room to reconsider the decision.

"There were some minor flaws during the legislative process, and all articles need to go through a final correction," Wang said.

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