Fri, Jun 03, 2005 - Page 3 News List

TSU attacks national assembly statute

`UNCONSTITUTIONAL' The Taiwan Solidarity Union said that it will file for a constitutional interpretation on the controversial bill after it didn't get its way in the assembly

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Judicial Yuan Secretary-General Fan Kuang-chun, second right, accepts a submission yesterday at the Judicial Yuan for a constitutional interpretation of the legitimacy of the recent National Assembly elections ,given the low turnout. The request was presented by People First Party (PFP) caucus whip Lee Yong-ping, second left, and PFP Legislator Lu Hsueh-chang, first left, as well as representatives of the Taiwan Solidarity Union and the Non-Party Free Alliance.

PHOTO: WANG MIN-WEI, TAIPEI TIMES

The Taiwan Union Solidarity (TSU) will file for a constitutional interpretation on Article 9 of the Statute Governing the Operation of the National Assembly (國大職權行使法) today, arguing that it is unconstitutional.

After TSU presidium member Annie Lee's (李安妮) suggestion that the amendments in the package be voted on separately was vetoed Wednesday, outgoing TSU Secretary-General Chen Chien-ming (陳建銘) yesterday announced that the TSU will go to the Judicial Yuan to ask the Council of Grand Justices to issue a constitutional interpretation on Article 9 of the Statute Governing the Operation of the National Assembly.

According to Article 25 of the Constitution, the National Assembly is the most superior administrative body, therefore, it is not proper for the Legislative Yuan to limit the National Assembly's authority through law, even though the Legislative Yuan is the highest lawmaking body, Chen said.

"Only a new constitutional amendment is empowered to confine National Assembly," Chen added.

The Statute Governing the Operation of the National Assembly was passed by the Legislative Yuan on May 20.

"Article 9 [of the Statute Governing the Operation of the National Assembly] virtually deprives the mechanism and function of the National Assembly and it obviously violates the spirit of the constitution," Chen said.

"Before the constitutional interpretation comes out, we argue that the National Assembly should appeal to Article 54-2 of the Standing Order of the National Assembly (國民大會議事規則), which stipulates that the assembly could vote on amendments individually so long as over 50 percent of delegates approve a motion submitted by over 20 delegates."

Chen said he did not understand why the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese National Party (KMT), who together obtained about 82 percent of votes and won 75 percent of assembly seats, insisted on objecting to voting on constitutional amendments separately.

"As long as the DPP and the KMT mobilize their delegates effectively, it is not a problem for them to pass the amendments one by one," Chen said. "We think they should not persist in applying the Statute Governing the Operation of the National Assembly, which violates procedural justice by boycotting voting on amendments individually."

Meanwhile, Chen also cast aspersions on the legitimacy of the National Assembly elections on May 14, saying that the 23.3 percent turnout rate was too low to legitimize constitutional reforms.

The People First Party (PFP) supported the TSU's stance on the voting rate issue and also filed for a constitutional interpretation yesterday.

PFP caucus whips Lee Yong-ping (李永萍) and Chen Chih-pin (陳志彬) and assembly delegate Chin Hui-chu (秦慧珠) yesterday went to the Judicial Yuan to submit the application, which was endorsed by KMT caucus whip Chen Chieh (陳杰), who said his endorsement was out of his personal friendship with PFP lawmakers, and will not influence the KMT's stance.

Judicial Yuan Secretary-General Fan Kuang-chun (范光群) said yesterday the Council of Grand Justices will cope with the PFP and the TSU's applications according to the law.

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