Tue, Jan 10, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Collective DPP leadership urged

ACTIVE MANAGEMENT Three DPP lawmakers urged the president to help the party involve all its members in important decisions, rather than keeping them in the dark

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

With the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) election of its new chairman only days away, three DPP lawmakers yesterday called on the president to help the party move beyond single-person decisionmaking and rely more on its Central Standing Committee.

"Let's not judge whether the cross-strait economic policy of `active management, effective opening' is better than `active opening, effective management.' I just don't think it is right for the president to continue the one-person decisionmaking model and leave everyone else out of the loop, especially in the wake of the party's resounding defeat in the Dec. 3 local elections," said DPP Legislator Lee Wen-chung (李文忠), a member of the party's New Tide faction.

Lee said he expects the three candidates running in the DPP chairmanship election, which will be held on Sunday, to elucidate their stance on the matter and come up with a solution.

"The crux of the problem does not lie in the mechanism, but in people," Lee said. "As the Central Standing Committee is the party's highest decisionmaking body, all major government policies should go through the committee, where committee members can fully debate their pros and cons."

DPP Legislator Wang Tuoh (王拓), also a member of the New Tide faction, agreed that leaving all important decisions to one person was bound to pose a crisis for both the party and the nation.

Wang said that it was ridiculous to keep the party in the dark regarding such significant government policies as the new directive for the development of the nation's economic and trade relations with China.

DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) of the Justice Alliance faction, of which President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is a co-founder, said that he hopes to see the next DPP chairman resume the policy of collective leadership that had been used by his predecessors.

"The party has a strong man now and may likely have another in the future," Huang said.

"What we want to see is a negotiation platform where the Presidential Office, the Executive Yuan and legislative caucuses can exchange opinions on major government policies, rather than learning about a new policy or policy change in the newspaper," Huang said.

Regarding the possibility of a Cabinet reshuffle, Lee said that while it is the president's constitutional privilege to appoint a new premier, Chen should first discuss the matter with the party if he wishes to name another DPP member as premier, and with opposition leaders if he intends to form a coalition government.

Meanwhile, the New Tide faction is planning to inaugurate an association to study cross-strait politics and economics. The association would also publish a journal discussing cross-strait issues in April.

Lee yesterday said that many faction members do not support the president's adjustment of the nation's cross-strait policy and think that the government must continue its "active opening" strategy.

"The government must face the reality that China is rising economically and politically. The nation must respond to the situation and try to reposition itself in an era of globalization," Lee said.

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