Wed, Jan 26, 2005 - Page 3 News List

DPP wants reforms completed

TASK FORCE TIME At its weekly Central Standing Committee meeting the party said that legislators should focus on passing legislation in the legislative session

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) will urge its legislators to enact the laws needed to complete the two constitutional amendments passed last August, and will ask legislators to view legislation as a priority task in the new legislature.

In its weekly Central Standing Committee meeting yesterday, the DPP decided to establish a task force to deal with the nomination of National Assembly representatives, who will be empowered to complete the legislation needed to implement the constitutional amendments passed on Aug. 23.

One amendment is to halve the number of legislative seats from 225 to 113 and reduce legislative terms from four years to three years. The other is to adopt the "single-member district, two-vote system" for legislative elections.

The two amendments must be approved by National Assembly representatives before they can take effect, the DPP's Policy Research and Coordinating Committee Deputy Director Liang Wen-chieh (梁文傑) said yesterday.

Liang said that the two amendments are perhaps the most substantial reforms in the history of the Constitution.

"We think each political party has a responsibility to carry out the amendments, since they amount to a promise to the people," he said.

Incoming DPP chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) will head the task force, while party heavyweights, including newly appointed DPP Secretary-General Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋), Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) and outgoing premier Yu Shyi-kun, will also be members.

Although the Fifth Legislature passed the National Assembly Representatives Election Law (國民大會代表選舉法) on Jan. 14, however, the law governing the National Assembly's exercise of power (國民大會職權行使法) was not voted on. This has prevented the constitutional amendments from being implemented.

"Therefore, the DPP will list the law governing the National Assembly's exercise of power as a priority, and will endeavor to pass it as soon as possible in the new legislative session," Liang said.

The Central Election Committee will hold elections for National Assembly representatives in May -- either on May 7 or May 14 -- and the DPP will finish the nomination process before March 26, after holding a national delegation conference on March 20, Liang said.

"The DPP will nominate at least 150 National Assembly representatives," Liang said.

Meanwhile, the DPP yesterday also reached the conclusion in its Central Standing Committee that every DPP legislator will be required to vote for the party'sd approved candidates in the legislative speakership race, or face intra-party disciplinary measures.

"It is a tradition for the DPP to ask its legislators to respect the party's decision whenever a significant bill or election occurs in the legislature," said acting DPP chairman Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), who is also the caucus whip.

Ker said that the caucus will nominate DPP candidates for the race on Friday using "democratic procedures," since some legislators expressed their willingness to campaign for the post of legislative speaker after DPP Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) announced he was dropping out of the election.

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