Sun, May 23, 2004 - Page 3 News List

DPP: Constitution still requires the people's approval

UNCHANGED GOAL The president refused to talk about a new constitution in terms of a referendum, but some are not so shy

CNA , TAIPEI

Giving the people the final say in enacting a new constitution is the eventual goal of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), and that goal won't be abandoned despite President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) decision not to mention it in his inauguration speech, a DPP lawmaker said yesterday.

Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯), DPP whip in the Legislative Yuan, said that it is his party's long-term goal to give people the right to approve a new constitution and that the party won't lose sight of this goal.

In his speech Thursday, Chen said he would push for constitutional reform through the steps provided for in the existing Republic of China Constitution, including the election of an ad hoc National Assembly.

In a related development yesterday, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said it wouldn't budge from its proposal to amend the ROC Constitution to extend lawmakers' terms from three years to four years and to cut the size of the 225-seat Legislative Yuan by half, with more than 30 percent of the seats reserved for female lawmakers.

Liao Feng-teh (廖風德), KMT whip in the Legislative Yuan, said his party is ready to force a showdown with the DPP in a vote in the Legislature, even though the KMT might not prevail in light of the fact that it holds only 65 seats.

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