Opposition lawmakers yesterday submitted an initiative to counter the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) plan for legislative reform, saying it was aimed at thwarting smaller parties.
The initiative, endorsed by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) and Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Huang Wen-ling (黃文玲), proposed to promote neutrality of the speaker, institutionalize the legislature’s investigation rights, make the legislature more transparent and improve the legislation process.
“The current political turmoil suggests that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration intends to weaken the legislative branch. The KMT’s plan appeared to us to be a pseudo-reform,” Cheng told a news conference.
The KMT said last week that it would propose raising the threshold for the establishment of a party caucus to four or five seats from the current three seats, improving the transparency of inter-party negotiations and making lawmakers who occupy the podium subject to punishment by the Discipline Committee.
True reform will not happen before comprehensive amendment of the Act Governing the Legislative Yuan’s Power (立法院職權行使法), the Organic Act of the Legislative Yuan (立法院組織法) and the Legislators’ Conduct Act (立法委員行為法), which enforces transparency and the legislature’s rights to hold hearings and investigate, Cheng said.
“It seems to us that the plan is to maximize the KMT’s dominance over the Legislative Yuan,” Huang said.