Sat, Jun 11, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Special task force to review next phase of reforms


The Presidential Office will set up a special task force to review the steps, method and strategy to promote a second phase of constitutional reforms, a top presidential aide said yesterday.

Presidential Office Secretary-General Yu Shyi-kun said the review will be completed in a week and that the task force will consult public opinion before deciding upon whether a cross-party constitutional reform committee should be established to facilitate the reforms.

According to Yu, President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is very happy about the successful passage of a constitutional amendment package made by the National Assembly earlier this week, which has made possible a second phase of reforms.

Yu said it remains the government's goal to upgrade the country's competitiveness through the reforms and to have a new constitution implemented in 2008 together with the inauguration of the new president, legislature and administration.

Issues to be addressed in the second phase of reforms will include the introduction of a voluntary military service system, civil rights, labor rights and human rights protection, as well as the enhancement of welfare for the country's Aboriginal population.

The National Assembly passed on Tuesday a constitutional amendment package to scrap the assembly to make way for popular referendums on future constitutional amendments, reduce the number of legislative seats from the present 225 to 113 and to adopt a "single seat, two votes" electoral system starting with the seventh legislature to be elected in 2007. Officials have promised that the next phase of reforms will not involve sensitive issues such as changes to the country's sovereignty or territorial boundaries.

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