The possibility of achieving a "Second Republic constitution" was the topic of debate at a forum held yesterday by the Taiwan ThinkTank.
The forum was held in response to President Chen Shui-bian's (
In an article published in yesterday's Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister paper) Koo said he believed the Constitution should be frozen while a new one is written, one that does not touch on "sovereignty." He said freezing the Constitution would be a way of striking a balance between amending and abolishing the Constitution. He said that the US would not have reasons to disagree with the action because freezing the Constitution would not contradict Chen's promises.
Chen Ming-tong (
Chen Ming-tong, who is also the convener of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters' constitutional reform department, said unless there is a general public consensus on changing the Constitution's general guidelines, which regulate the nation's name, territory, sovereignty and flag, the "Second Republic Constitution" may skip this part and include a preface that describes the nation's governmental system and current political condition.
He said that amending the Constitution in this way would help avoid touching on controversial political issues and is not a violation of the president's promises.
"In some sense, the `Second Republic Constitution' is a complete set of `constitutional amendments.' It is a tailor-made constitution for the 23 million people in Taiwan but retains the country's name as the Republic of China," he said.
Lo Cheng-fang (
He said that the "legal relations between Taiwan and China," human rights and system of government should be elaborated in the preface.
Lo said the DPP understands the need to discuss its dream to establish an independent country in the party's constitutional reform proposal, but it also understands it has to come up with a proposal acceptable to the majority of the public.
Chou Yi-cheng (周奕成), executive officer of Generation Forum, an organization of young DPP members said he did not like the idea of freezing the Constitution.
He said given the high threshold required for constitutional reforms to pass, a high level of consensus between both the public and political parties was needed.
"The next constitutional amendment will lead the country to a new republic naturally because of the high threshold and major changes in governmental systems," Chou said, adding that the amendment must be able to break the political deadlock and find out the commonality among the public.
The vice director of Taiwan Thinktank's legal and constitutional study department, Tseng Chien-yuan (