Tue, May 23, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Legislature should approve nomination of premier: PFP

CNA , TAIPEI

The People First Party (PFP) believes that the Legislative Yuan's right to approve the president's nomination of the premier should be restored, a PFP caucus whip said yesterday.

PFP Legislator Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) told a press conference that the party does not have a position on whether there should be further amendments to the Constitution, except that the legislature's power to give or withhold its consent to the premier-designate should be reinstated.

The Legislative Yuan lost its power to approve the president's nomination of the premier after an amendment to the Constitution during former president Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) tenure in 1997.

Although the legislature gained the power that year to propose a no-confidence vote against the premier with the support of a majority of the members of the legislature, many opposition lawmakers still believe the legislature cannot effectively check and balance the Executive Yuan.

Lee said that the PFP has not adopted a position yet on whether there should be more amendments to the Constitution, but will leave the matter to its legislative caucus at a meeting today.

Last Tuesday, a number of PFP legislators, including Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟), convener of the PFP legislative caucus, endorsed a bill introduced by Legislator Lo Chih-ming (羅志明) of the Taiwan Solidarity Union to amend the Constitution.

Although the motion was blocked at the Procedure Committee, leaders of the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) caucus were worried that Lo's motion would eventually be passed with the support of PFP legislators.

Legislator Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), director of the KMT's Policy Committee, said the most important thing at present was to observe and implement the Constitution, not amend it. He urged the PFP to adopt the same position.

Lo's amendment would change the government system from a presidential system to a Cabinet system, increase the number of legislative seats in the next legislature from 113 to 164, and lower the threshold for amending the Constitution.

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