Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday said he would amend the Local Government Act (地方制度法) so that Aboriginal districts in special municipalities could regain the right to elect their own officials.
The act stipulates that officials of Aboriginal districts in six special municipalities — the five current municipalities plus Taoyuan County, which is scheduled to be promoted at the end of next year — are to be appointed by mayors, Non-Partisan Solidarity Union Legislator May Chin (高金素梅) said during a question-and-answer session with Jiang yesterday.
“The regulation has not only stripped Aborigines of the right to elect their own officials, but has also violated President Ma Ying-jeou’s [馬英九] campaign platform of ‘a test-run of indigenous autonomy,’” she said.
Local elections for district heads and councilors were done away with in 2010 after the creation of the special municipalities of Greater Kaohsiung, Greater Tainan and Greater Taichung, and Taipei County became New Taipei City (新北市).
By the end of next year, there will be six Aboriginal districts in the municipalities, including Taoyuan District (桃源), Maolin District (茂林) and Namasia District (納瑪夏) in Greater Kaohsiung, Heping District (和平) in Greater Taichung, Wulai District (烏來) in New Taipei City and Fuhsing District (復興) in Taoyuan.
Jiang told Chin that the Executive Yuan had reached a provisional decision in July on the issue and the Ministry of the Interior was scheduled to submit an amendment to the legislature later this month.
If the amendment were to be passed in the current session, district head and council elections should be able to resume when the seven-in-one municipal elections are held next year, Jiang said.