Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday showed her respect for Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) by saying that she hopes Wang continues to lead the legislature if the DPP returns to power next year.
“If the DPP regains power, we [the executive branch] will take concrete actions to seek benign interaction with the legislative branch under the leadership of, [I] certainly hope, Speaker Wang,” Tsai said when she met with Wang at his office.
Saying the visit was to learn from Wang in her capacity as DPP presidential candidate, Tsai praised Wang for the role he has played in the process of Taiwan’s democratization.
“Especially at the crucial time for democratization when the DPP first came to power in 2000 … we were lucky to have [Wang] as speaker to keep the legislature running,” said Tsai, who served as a lawmaker for about a year, between December 2004 and January 2006.
During the meeting, Tsai highlighted the inadequacy of the system of checks and balances between the legislature and the executive by mentioning problems that DPP lawmakers have encountered over the past three years in their effort to scrutinize government performance.
“The problem is deeply felt [by the DPP] as we were unable to effectively keep the executive in check because of the government’s lack of transparency in decision-making and policy formulation, and its refusal to provide the opposition party with sufficient information,” she said.
Other than problems with the checks-and-balances system, Tsai added that government leaders were to blame for the legislature’s failure to fully exert its authority.
“Under a unitary government, the legislature was not fully respected,” she said. “There were many bills that were stalled owing to lack of consensus that passed the legislature overnight at the behest of government leaders without being thoroughly debated.”