Tue, Dec 08, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers oppose changes to local government acts

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lawmakers across party lines drew up a non-binding resolution to help local elected officials, as many in the newly designated municipalities face losing their job should the Executive Yuan’s proposed amendments to acts governing local administrations clear the legislature.

With the changes, the political subdivisions of the affected local governments and the number of local representatives will also change.

Under the Executive Yuan’s proposed amendment to the Local Government Act (地方制度法) and the draft administrative zoning act (行政區劃法), heads of political subdivisions under a municipality will be designated by its mayor, instead of being elected by a popular vote and overseen by an elected representative council.

The proposal states that the number of city councilors in the upgraded Taipei County would be increased by one. The number of city councilors in the merged Taichung municipality would be reduced from 103 to 63, while those in the merged Kaohsiung municipality would be cut from 98 to 66 and in the merged Tainan municipality from 91 to 57.

The proposals also state that the Executive Yuan would be entitled to demarcate the boundaries of council constituencies.

The Executive Yuan’s version of the proposed amendment, however, was opposed by lawmakers at the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee yesterday.

Instead, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順) and Chung Shao-ho (鍾紹和), as well as Democratic Progressive Party legislators Wang Sing-nan (王幸男), William Lai (賴清德) and Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) jointly proposed a motion more favorable to the local government chiefs.

They suggested the number of city councilors remain the same as the total seats of combined councils and that heads of political subdivisions in a municipality would be chosen from incumbent township or village chiefs and local representatives.

The lawmakers also suggested that the incumbent councilors should be consulted before the government decides on the new demarcation of boundaries.

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