Thu, Jun 01, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Constitutional reform still on the agenda, official says

PUSHING AHEAD Recent scandals have not derailed the president's plans to push for constitutional changes, according to a Presidential Office official

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

It is similar to the US system. The House of Representatives would have 150 to 200 seats and the Senate about 50 seats. Members of the Senate would be elected from representatives of special municipalities, counties, cities and Aboriginal areas to serve four-year terms.

In a bid to end the constant legislative gridlock, Houng proposed restoring the president's power to dissolve the legislature.

Currently, the president can only passively dismiss the legislature if it votes in favor of a no-confidence vote against the premier, who is appointed by the president.

Houng also recommended returning the legislature's right of consent over the premier.

Chou Yang-san (周陽山), a political analyst from National Taiwan University, said constitutional reform would be one of the hottest issues in the following two years but doubted that reforms would be extensive, taking into consideration the pan-blue camp's legislative majority.

Chou agreed that lawmakers should have a final say on the president's nomination for premier and was in favor of a parliamentary system. But he cast doubt on the feasibility of including the bicameral legislative system in this round of constitutional reform.

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