Tue, Aug 31, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Chen endorses decision to kick back shooting bill

CNA , TAIPEI

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday endorsed the Cabinet's decision to return the controversial "March 19 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee Statute" back to the Legislative Yuan for reconsideration.

The Cabinet decided Friday to file for an reconsideration of the legislation on the grounds that the statute violates the principle of division of powers. The special committee to be established under the statute to investigate the presidential election-eve shooting of President Chen and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) would usurp the powers of the Judicial Yuan and the Control Yuan, the Cabinet said.

According to Article 3 of the Additional Articles of the ROC Constitution, the statute will now be referred to the legislature for reconsideration after the Cabinet's reconsideration request was approved by the president.

If the reconsideration request is rejected by the legislature, the statute will then return to the executive branch where it must be signed into law by the president.

According to the Constitution, the Cabinet, with the approval of the president, can return a bill passed by the legislature within 10 days.

The legislature has to handle the reconsideration request within 15 days after it is received. If the Cabinet delivers such a request during the legislative recess, the legislature has to convene within seven days, and must make a decision regarding the request within 15 days after convening.

To override the Cabinet's veto and uphold the original statute, at least 109 lawmakers -- a simple majority of the 217 seats in the 225-seat legislature that are presently filled -- have to vote in favor of the statute; otherwise, the statute will be invalidated.

Premier Yu Shyi-kun said last week that in light of the fact that the pan-blue alliance of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP) jointly control a slim majority in the legislature, the alliance might succeed in upholding the statute.

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