Sat, Dec 18, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take


■ Diplomacy

Lee submits visa application

Former president Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) application for a tourist visa to Japan was accepted yesterday by the Taipei office of the Inter-change Association, accord-ing to association spokes-man Toshio Matsumura, who

said the application will be transferred to Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs for processing. He declined to say when the visa will be issued. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda announced on Thursday that Tokyo had decided in principle to issue Lee a tourist visa. Lee said in September that he hoped to go to Japan for sightseeing and Tokyo reportedly asked him to delay his visa application until after the legislative elections.

■ Politics

DPP to elect boss next month

A direct election for a new chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will be held by the end of next month, acting chairman Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said yesterday. Ker said the Central Executive Commit-tee will meet on Tuesday to discuss details such as the date for registration and polling. The committee will also discuss a revision to DPP rules on elections to add requirements for candidates, he said. Another issue will be the DPP process for next year's elections for mayors and magistrates, he said. Ker was appointed acting chairman after President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) resigned from the position on Tuesday over the party's worse-than-expected performance in the legis-lative elections.

■ Society

Pan-blues want annuity

The legislative caucuses of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the People First Party and the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union yesterday put forward a draft bill for

a NT$10,000 monthly annuity for people aged 65 and above. Caucus spokesmen told a a press conference

the three parties will push for the passage of the bill

to provide better care for

the elderly. KMT legislative whip Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) said such a program would not affect the existing NT$3,000 senior citizen subsidy. The NT$10,000 national annuity program could eventually include military, education and labor personnel who have been recipients of other insurance benefits, Tseng said. Under the proposed program, potential recipients of the national annuity insurance would pay NT$800 per month once they joined the program, with the govern-ment paying 40 percent of the amount for them.

■ Politics

Assembly idea agreed on

Lawmakers agreed in prin-ciple yesterday on the role

of a new National Assembly devised exclusively for constitutional reforms, granting assembly delegates the power to vote on amendment proposals but not the power to revise them. The draft was approved at a consultation meeting by legislators from the various political parties. The bill still has to go through a second and a third reading in the legislature before it can be made into law. In order to complete the legislation as soon as possible, lawmakers will continue their negotiations next week to allow the assembly to start operations next year in time for the constitutional reform task. Any constitutional revision bills put forward by the Legislative Yuan must be directly voted upon by the assembly delegates without prior discussions. The bills must gain approval from more than half of the delegates to become law.

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