Thu, Oct 05, 2006 - Page 3 News List

DPP fails to agree on reform proposal

AMENDMENTS The party's Central Executive Committee decided to wait before coming up with a final suggestion on how best to proceed with any constitutional changes

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

No concrete resolution for a proposal on constitutional reforms was reached during the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) Central Executive Committee meeting yesterday, with the party instead resolving to focus on efforts to raise public awareness of the constitutional reform issue.

Yesterday's meeting did not touch on the issue of whether the general principles of the Constitution should be amended, DPP chairman Yu Shyi-kun told a press conference held after the meeting.

Three different proposals involving changes to the principles of the Constitution were given to committee members for further deliberation, Yu added.

The three proposals include one concerning "minor changes" to the Constitution and one concerning changes in the "definitions of sovereignty and territory," which drew on the party's Resolution Regarding Taiwan's Future passed in 1999, DPP secretary general Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said.

The other one concerned "more changes" to the Constitution based on the draft of the Constitution of the Republic of Taiwan and constitutional reform proposals from other groups, Lin said.

According to the party, the second proposal touches on sovereignty issues but retains the nation's title, though it excludes Mongolia as part of the nation's territory.

The third proposal uses "Republic of Taiwan" as the nation's title and defines the nation's territory as "Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other islands and places where the nation's sovereignty applies."

The proposals will be presented to National Taiwan University Professor Chen Ming-tung (陳明通) and the party's policy committee for further deliberation with members of the executive committee, DPP legislators and civic groups, Yu said.

Yu added that the committee also decided to carry on with discussions about parliamentary and presidential systems in the committee's next meeting, to be held early next month.

Yu denied that he was under pressure from the US to postpone finalization of the proposal.

He said the final decision would be made by the committee, but added that the party would take into consideration "opinions from all sides, including those of the President and the Premier."

"For the moment, [we will] focus on integration of all opinions from within the party," Lin said.

Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said after the meeting that the party would respect the opinions of the nation's allies and consider public addresses the President has made in the past.

DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) told the press after the meeting that the party was still discussing when to finalize the proposal.

"Many people in the party are very smart. They know when the time is right," Ker said.

Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) said before the meeting that given the high threshold required for the passage of a constitutional reform proposal, the party would have to listen to more opinions or any proposal could be blocked in the legislature.

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