Wed, Jul 14, 2004 - Page 3 News List

DPP hasn't fulfilled its promises, Taipei Society report says

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration has fallen short of its promise to push reforms over the past four years, a group of academics said.

In a paper released over the weekend assessing the government's achievements in pushing reform, the Taipei Society, a group founded in 1989 by scholars from universities and Academia Sinica, called on President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and his administration to implement reform in order to fulfill the promise of "believing in Taiwan and insisting on reform."

The paper harshly criticized the government for "getting a failing report card" in terms of constitutional, educational and environmental reforms, as well as in the areas of cross-strait economic exchanges, social welfare, media and academic development.

The paper stated that the DPP administration had achieved little in its work in implementing reforms and had blamed opposition parties for its own poor performance in pushing reform.

"Although it is true that the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] and the People First Party [PFP] obstruct reform, the government however can not put all the blame on the opposition parties for its own administrative fault and failure," the paper said.

On Chen's desire to amend the Constitution, the paper proposed the government do so by implementing constitutional reform in two phases.

The government should first create public consensus, initiate legislative reform and then create a mechanism for electing National Assembly representatives before making substantial constitutional amendments and deciding what kind of government and constitution Taiwan will adopt.

While approving of Chen's proposal that "constitutional reform will not be carried out by one person or one party alone, but a Constitutional Reform Committee will be set up to take the matter in hand," the group said that the committee must be diverse and suggested that seminars be held nationwide, to gather different views about constitutional reform.

While the ruling and opposition parties are aware that there are many problems that exist with the Constitution, their views differ as to what it direction reform should head in, the paper said.

"No matter how the Constitution is amended, it is essential to keep in mind that the Constitution must be amended to pursue lasting political stability and peace, not for the mere sake of one person or one party," the paper said.

The group also called on the pan-blue alliance to step out from under the cloud of the March 19 assassination attempt, put aside the election conflict and be dutiful in its role as the opposition.

Also see story:

Group slams Chen on ecology

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