Fri, Aug 27, 2004 - Page 4 News List

US experts look favorably on constitutional package

By Charles Snyder  /  STAFF REPORTER , IN WASHINGTON

She said the current package "is not as problematic as it could have been," calling it "much more modest" than President Chen Shui-bian was talking about only a year ago.

Nevertheless, Bellocchi cautioned that Taipei "still has a long way to go" before the reforms are implemented. "There is a lot of work to do yet," he said.

It was not clear which party will stand to benefit or lose in the end from the approved package. "It's possible that the Democratic Progressive party (DPP) will not do as well" under the new rules, Tkacik said. However, he noted that given the current Legislative Yuan's size, the DPP "found it very difficult to find qualified candidates" to fill the seats.

If the package was proposed by the DPP and passed with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) support, "I would have been surprised," he said

But, since it was proposed by the pan-blue camp, "I have to go back and look at it again. It doesn't make sense that the KMT-PFP would benefit much. Which tells me it is possible the DPP sees some loophole that isn't apparent to the naked eye."

He drew an analogy with last year's referendum law, in which Chen recognized Article 17 as a loophole to call himself for an election-day referendum, despite pan-blue efforts to prevent him from doing so.

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