Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that the party supports a two-phase process to amend the Constitution, adding that the party would negotiate with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on the issue.
“The DPP supports a two-phase constitutional amendment process, which means that we would first complete the parts that most of the people agree on before starting negotiations for the parts in which there are more differences in opinion,” Tsai told reporters at a conference on the nation’s future development at National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei. “Amending the Constitution would help to improve Taiwan’s democracy, and all political parties, as well as civil groups, should play a role in the process.”
Tsai said that she had already asked DPP Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) to contact the KMT for further discussions on the issue.
She went on to say that, in order to have open discussions on the issue, the DPP suggests holding a national affairs conference.
“We hope that the KMT will see beyond party lines so that we can all sit down and talk,” she said.
Asked if she would like to meet with KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) on the matter, Tsai said it is not yet the right time.
“We will have officials from both parties negotiate first,” she said. “It’s not the time to make the decision on whether we should meet or not.”
Speaking to the media at a separate venue, Wu said that, for the moment, the DPP’s main objectives in amending the Constitution include lowering the voting age from 20 to 18, reducing the threshold for revising the Constitution, granting citizens the ability to initiate constitutional amendments through petitions, abolishing the Control Yuan and the Examination Yuan, reforming legislative elections and increasing the number of legislative seats.
“We understand that the KMT has different objectives, but looking at remarks by Chu and KMT lawmakers, as well as the creation of the constitutional amendment commission, we see that the party is at least willing to have constitutional reform,” Wu said. “We hope that the KMT’s constitutional reform focuses on more than the short-term interests of the party.”
Wu said that he had spoken to KMT Secretary-General Lee Shih-chuan (李四川) twice on the telephone to talk about constitutional reform, adding that they did not touch on the issue of a meeting between Tsai and Chu.
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