Dispute over the constitutional amendment bill surfaced within the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday as DPP Legislator Lin Cho-shui (林濁水) objected to halving the number of legislative seats, a move strongly supported by former DPP chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄).
\nLin I-hsiung's Fourth Nuclear Power Plant Referendum Initiative Association also demanded that the DPP discipline Lin Cho-shui for ignoring a resolution issued by DPP headquarters.
\nThe DPP legislative caucus yesterday said that discipline was not an issue at this point since the caucus had not reached a consensus on the bill, which is to be debated at a legislative sitting on Monday.
\n"The issue of discipline will only arise after the caucus has held a meeting and reached a consensus on [Monday], and a member then breaks the consensus and votes differently," DPP caucus whip Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said yesterday.
\n"The DPP caucus will support the party headquarters' resolution, and caucus leaders will talk to Lin [Cho-shui]," Tsai said.
\nWhile Lin I-hsiung and his anti-nuclear plant association have been pressuring the legislature to pass the bill, which halves the present 225 seats to 113 seats, Lin Cho-shui and other members of the DPP's New Tide faction have dismissed downsizing as a feasible solution for solving legislative unreliability.
\nThey also said that adopting a "single-member, two-vote" electoral system would be preferable.
\nLin Cho-shui was singled out by the association earlier this week as an obstacle to legislative reform. The association had criticized him for breaking the DPP headquarters resolution and demanded disciplinary action.
\nBut Lin would not back down, citing academic opinion to support his stance.
\n"In public hearings on the constitutional amendment over the past two days, all of the academics were opposed to simply halving the seats ... and this was regardless of their political preferences," Lin Cho-shui said yesterday.
\nThe legislature has been holding public hearings on constitutional amendments over the last three days at the request of the People First Party to gather opinions from legal and political experts.
\n"Additionally, with the current plan to halve the seats, it will be difficult for the DPP to win a majority. The current direction of constitutional amendment will be hurtful to the DPP," Lin Cho-shui said.
\nLin Cho-shui also said that while he did sign an association petition for legislative downsizing before the presidential election in March, he did so reluctantly, and only out of consideration for President Chen Shui-bian's (
PHOTO: WANG MIN-WEI, TAIPEI TIMES
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