Fri, Jun 10, 2005 - Page 3 News List

DPP prepares for round two of reforms

CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES The ruling party has established a 15-member panel to help draft its proposals for overhauling the government to make it more efficient

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang goes over details of the government's tax-reform policy with officials prior to a meeting of the party's Central Standing Committee yesterday.

PHOTO: LU CHUN-WEI, TAIPEI TIMES

Echoing President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) vow to initiate the second phase of constitutional reforms, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday established a special panel for drafting an outline and schedule for the new round of reform.

The second phase of constitutional reform has become a major policy that the government will work on in the wake of the passage of the constitutional amendment package by the National Assembly on Tuesday.

To hammer out the outline of the second phase of constitutional reforms, DPP yesterday set up a special panel of 15 high-ranking officials and law experts at a Central Standing Committee meeting held yesterday afternoon.

On the panel are Presidential Office Secretary-General Yu Shyi-kun, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), DPP Secretary-General Lee Yi-yang (李逸洋), National Assembly president Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭), National Assembly secretary-general Yeh Chun-jung (葉俊榮) and National Assembly delegates Chou Ching-yu (周清玉) and Hsu Chih-hsiung (許志雄).

The others are DPP legislators Jao Yung-ching (趙永清), Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), Kao Chih-peng (高志鵬), Chen Sheng-hung (陳勝宏) and Chai Trong (蔡同榮), attorney Wellington Ku (顧立雄), Central Standing Committee member Tsai Hsien-hao (蔡憲浩) and Chen Ming-tong (陳明通), a professor of National Taiwan University.

"The panel members will consult leaders of civic groups to collect more comprehensive opinions about reforms and integrate those opinions, DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) said.

Meanwhile, reacting to the opposition's criticism that the second phase of constitutional reform is not a priority for the country, Lee said that the reforms would not affect efforts to boost the economy since overhauling the government is pertinent to economic growth.

Lee said that the second phase of reform would include deciding whether there should be a three-branch system of government or the present five-branch system, whether to have a presidential system or a Cabinet system and whether the Taiwan Provincial Government should be abolished.

"These reforms actually concern the government's efficiency and the nation's competitiveness, which have a direct relation to the nation's economic development. The opposition parties should not boycott the reforms," Lee said.

Meanwhile, disputes over constitutional reforms could lead to the courthouse after former DPP chairman Lin I-hsiung (林義雄) announced yesterday that he will sue the United Daily for libel after the daily ran two letters and a column criticizing Lin's opinions about the constitutional reforms but did not run a letter he wrote defending himself.

The column and the two letters, appeared on May 24. They criticized Lin's demand that President Chen ask the Executive Yuan to propose a veto on the Law on the National Assembly's Exercise of Power (國大職權行使法). Lin made the demand right before the National Assembly was due to open.

Lin said he would ask for NT$200 million as compensation.

As of the press time last night, the United Daily had not responded to Lin's accusation.

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