Thu, Jul 20, 2006 - Page 3 News List

DPP denies trying to lead state

ONE-PARTY STATE?Certain members of the DPP claimed that a `collective discussion mechanism' proposed by Tuan Yi-kang could lead to a return to KMT-style governance

By Jewel Huang and Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

The Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) legislative caucus said yesterday that it objected to DPP Chairman Yu Shyi-kun's proposal to create a facilitation platform to coordinate opinions between the party and the government, and warned that it would cause "disaster" if the DPP dissolved its factions.

DPP legislative caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said that it was former chief convener of the DPP's New Tide faction Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) who had suggested creating a "collective discussion mechanism." He said that he thought the proposal was not mature yet and that it was actually still under discussion.

"The plan is unlikely to be implemented and I do not think the DPP's national convention will pass it," Ker said.

In a response to a call made by certain pan-green academics for the president to step down, the DPP is planning to turn its weekly Central Standing Committee meeting into a communication channel for officials from the Presidential Office, Executive Yuan, Legislative Yuan and the DPP, and also a platform for policy or personnel changes initiated by the Executive Yuan.

Old habits

Ker said application of the "collective leadership" model, particularly as it applies to the central government's personnel arrangements, would make people feel that the DPP had gone back to its old habit of letting "the party lead the government." Ker said this method of government was typical of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) when it was in power, and added that the right to appoint governmental officials should belong to the president and premier. It was inappropriate for the party or caucus to become involved in such matters, he said.

Tuan confirmed yesterday afternoon during a news conference that the idea for a "collective discussion mechanism" came from the New Tide Faction, and said the proposal was designed to place limits on the president's authority in light of his flagging popularity.

"We hope the Central Standing Committee meeting can become a buffer that limits President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) power," Tuan said.

In reaction to Ker and Tuan's remarks, DPP spokesman Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said yesterday that some people might misunderstand the idea behind a "collective discussion mechanism."

He said that it was intended to allow the party and the government to "discuss policy-making jointly and cooperate with each other."

Tsai said that the mechanism would not justify accusations that the party was seeking to "lead the government," and that the DPP remained opposed to having personnel decisions make in the party's Central Standing Committee.

Joint responsibility

Tsai said the "collective discussion mechanism" was proposed to enable the party and the government to take joint responsibility for decisions made, and that the party had no intention of usurping the government's authority.

Meanwhile, Ker yesterday also warned that it would cause "disaster" if the DPP insisted on dissolving the party's factions. He urged Yu to think twice about the proposal to this end that is on agenda of the party's national convention to be held this weekend.

Meanwhile, regarding a possible tip in the balance of power toward the DPP that might arise from introducing the "collective discussion mechanism," the Cabinet yesterday said that it was impossible for the government to entertain an unconstitutional proposal.

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