Thu, Jan 26, 2006 - Page 3 News List

DPP keen to end provincial governments

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus yesterday called for the Taiwan and Fujian provincial governments to be abolished.

"Both the ruling and opposition parties agree that there is no need for the Taiwan Provincial Government to exist. We hope that they would support its abolition, as well as abolishing the Fujian Provincial Government so that Kinmen and Matsu will fall under the direct supervision of the central government," DPP caucus whip Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) said.

The Constitution stipulates that provincial governments and two special municipalities, Taipei and Kaohsiung cities, are one level higher than county and city governments.

There are 21 counties and cities technically under the Taiwan Provincial Government, while two counties -- Kinmen and Lienchiang -- are under the jurisdiction of the Republic of China's Fujian Provincial Government. Lienchiang County is the official administrative title for the Matsu archipelago.

The legislature has slashed NT$770 million (US$24.1 million) earmarked for the Taiwan Provincial Government this year, as well as NT$150 million for the Taiwan Provincial Consultative Council.

In response, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) has decided not to appoint a new line-up for Taiwan Province, a move that has been endorsed on both sides of the legislature.

Although constitutional amendments are needed to abolish the provincial administrations, Yeh yesterday argued that this may not be necessary if the central government instead revised two articles in the Law on Local Government Systems (地方制度法).

"We sincerely hope that the new Cabinet will propose draft revisions to the law soon and that the opposition parties will support a legal overhaul to help streamline government and establish a two-tiered system," Yeh said.

The Provincial Government has become virtually obsolete since it was downsized seven years ago.

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