Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) announced yesterday that he plans to propose revisions to the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act (總統副總統選舉罷免法) to allow a re-elected president to be recalled within a year of being sworn in for a second term.
At present, Article 70 of the law stipulates that presidents cannot be recalled within a year after they are sworn in. However, it does not say whether the rule applies to a re-elected president’s second term.
“In the Constitution, there’s no mention of protecting a president from recall at all and the one-year no-recall rule was intended to give a newly elected president a one-year buffer period to get familiar with what he or she has to do,” Lin told a press conference at the legislature. “However, is there such a need for the rule for a re-elected president who has already served four years?”
Citing an opinion poll conducted and published by the Chinese-language Apple Daily, Lin said as many as 43 percent of those who voted for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in the presidential election in January said “it would be a little awkward that the people need to wait yet another year before being able to recall the president, after he has already served a four-year term.”
“Therefore, I suggest that a sentence be added to Article 70 of the law denying a re-elected president the one-year buffer period,” Lin said. “This is not a Ma Ying-jeou clause, rather, when the law is amended, it would apply to every president and it will help create more responsible politics.”