Wed, Dec 17, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Constitution committee makes agenda

PASS EXPECTED:KMT caucus whip Alex Fai said he expects the legislature on Friday to approve a proposal to set up the first constitutional amendment group since 2004

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu yesterday reiterated that “constitutional amendments are a must.”

Photo: Taipei Times

The motion to set up a constitutional amendment committee was passed yesterday by the legislature’s Procedure Committee to be placed on the agenda for the next legislative floor meeting on Friday.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has taken up long-proposed calls for constitutional amendments after its rout in last month’s nine-in-one elections.

A group of KMT legislators worked last week to align with opposition lawmakers to propose the establishment of a constitutional amendment committee in a bid to solve a constitutional-political impasse said to have led to political upheavals in the past few years.

KMT Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) and Democratic Progressive Party legislators Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) and Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) sponsored the motions to set up the committee, which according to law must be established to deliberate on revisions and reach resolutions.

KMT caucus whip Alex Fai (費鴻泰) said he expects the proposal to pass on Friday and added that a constitutional amendment team would be set up within the caucus to work out related issues.

The committee, if set up, would be the first since 2004.

Meanwhile, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), the sole contender for KMT chairperson, reiterated that “constitutional amendments are a must.”

Chu has proposed revising the quasi-presidential system to a fully parliamentary system.

However, not everyone in the KMT seemed to like the idea, with Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強), a KMT vice chairman, saying: “Do not try to abolish the presidential system out of dislike for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).”

Chu did not respond to Hu’s remark directly, but said that dysfunction in the political system has been manifest for the past 20 years and witnessed by everyone in the nation.

He is not the only one who has expressed concern over the current situation, Chu added, saying that the government must be reformed into one that sees power commensurate with accountability.

“[Amendments] should not involve partisan biases and personal calculation,” he said.

Chu said that, regardless of one’s attitude toward the proposed parliamentary system, anyone who is to roll out the amendment project has to speak to academics, experts and politicians from different parties.

Chu said the party would not be ruled by a single person’s dictates or by an unchallenged “supreme leader.”

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