Fri, Sep 08, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Ma and Wang don't want to topple Cabinet just yet

DETAILS If their efforts succeed, it could mean the legislature would be disbanded, and because of recent reforms, half of all sitting lawmakers would then lose their jobs

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday agreed that the time was not ripe for toppling the Cabinet, as the issue of redrawing electoral districts had to be resolved first.

The Non-Partisan Solidarity Union, a blue-leaning fringe party, is planning to launch the campaign next week in the legislature to force Ma to demand the Cabinet's resignation, calling on the KMT to support the plan.

The two KMT leaders, however, drew short of supporting the proposal during their one-hour closed-door meeting.

"It's not practical to topple the Cabinet now. We don't have solutions for redistricting yet. What should we do if the president decides to dismiss the legislature?" Wang said yesterday at KMT headquarters.

The president is legally entitled to dissolve the legislature and hold new elections should the legislature topple the Cabinet.

Therefore, Wang said, a new electoral system should be in force to deal with the possibility of the legislature being dissolved by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in the event of the Cabinet's removal.

If Chen were to dissolve the legislature, it would force an election, which would be required to use a "single member, two vote" system because of recent constitutional reforms. It would also mean that the total number of seats in the legislature would be reduced to 113 from 226. Half of all sitting legislators would lose their jobs.

Ma and Wang also discussed long-stalled bills and other legislative business, including a major arms procurement budget and the president's nominations for the Control Yuan.

The arms procurement budget and the nominations for the Control Yuan were likely to pass in the next legislative session, Ma said.

"The KMT caucus has reached a consensus on this issue [the arms procurement budget] ... We will be thinking positively," Ma said.

Wang said the party caucus would discuss the budget bill with the People First Party caucus.

As for the Control Yuan nominees, Ma said the KMT would agree not to raise the approval threshold from one-half to a two-thirds majority to resolve the deadlock.

"But the president should nominate professionals. Otherwise, the real function of the Control Yuan would be limited," Ma added.

Wang also expressed his support for the "sunshine bills" proposed by the KMT that aim to fight corruption, promising to push for the passage of these laws in the Legislative Yuan.

The legislation includes a lobbying bill, a bill regulating political party activities, and amendments to the Public Functionary Assets Disclosure Law (公職人員財產申報法) and the Political Donations Law (政治獻金法).

also see story:

Editorial: Topple the Cabinet? Bring it on

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