Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday urged lawmakers to pass proposed constitutional amendments without dispute, while calling on the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to refrain from “kidnapping” reform.
Attending the DPP caucus meeting for the first time in this legislative session, Tsai was greeted by loud cheers as she walked in.
She shook hands with each of the legislators, who responded by saying: “Hello, president.”
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Speaking to inaugurate the meeting, Tsai urged the caucus to put as much effort as possible into pushing for the passage of constitutional amendments.
“I hope there is concrete progress in constitutional reform this time, because there is a consensus [between the DPP and the KMT] on lowering the voting age to 18 and adjustments to the threshold for at-large legislative seats,” Tsai said in response to media queries before entering the meeting room. “I hope the DPP and the KMT caucuses can speed up handling the amendments, so that they may be passed before the end of this session [on Tuesday].”
However, Tsai added that she was not fully confident that the amendments would pass, as the KMT caucus is insisting that the amendments be passed as a package, including disputed ones such as absentee voting and legislative consent to the premier’s nomination.
“The DPP believes that different constitutional amendment proposals reflect different political ideologies and values, and therefore should be handled separately,” Tsai said. “Any political party that considers constitutional reform its mission should not kidnap social consensus.”
DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) agreed with Tsai, saying that constitutional reform tops the DPP’s must-do list in this legislative session.
Asked about Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu’s (洪秀柱) campaign to represent the KMT in next year’s presidential elections, Tsai said that, as a female politician, she would give Hung her best wishes.
The Han Kuang exercises, the nation’s major war games, are to start today and run for five days. The drills are to include a military aircraft emergency takeoff and landing exercise on a regular roadway on Wednesday, featuring all three fighter jet models in Taiwan’s fleet, a military source said last week. The drill is to begin at 6:30am on a 3km section of Provincial Highway No. 1 in Pingtung County’s Jiadong Township (佳冬), and feature an Indigenous Defense Fighter, an F-16V, a Mirage 2000-5 and an E-2K Hawkeye early warning aircraft, the source said. The emergency landing and takeoff drill aims to
MRNA VACCINE: Heart inflammation is rare, but possible after a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 shot, and students need to be aware of possible side effects, an expert said As Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations for students aged 12 to 17 are to begin on campuses on Thursday next week, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday urged recipients to be especially watchful for five signs of possible myocarditis or pericarditis, which are rare adverse reactions to some COVID-19 vaccines. The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices convener Lee Ping-ing (李秉穎) joined the CECC’s daily news briefing to report on possible side effects after receiving a BioNTech vaccine. Lee said that cases of myocarditis and pericarditis have been observed in people in the US who have received mRNA COVID-19
Taiwan on Friday accused China of seeking to use the Honduran election to “create controversy” and undermine Taiwan’s long-standing ties with the country, saying it would strive to win support for Honduras’ relations with Taipei. Honduras’ main left-wing opposition party, the Liberty and Refoundation Party (LIBRE), led by ousted former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya, has said that if it wins November’s presidential election it would seek to “readjust” the country’s debt and establish diplomatic relations with China. Honduras is one of 15 UN member countries that maintain formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has already warned Honduras not
TESTING THE WATERS: Making the considerations public a day after a Biden-Xi phone call indicates that the US is testing China’s reaction, a think tank head said A Financial Times report that the US is considering allowing Taiwan to change the name of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in Washington to feature the name “Taiwan” highlighted Washington’s “two-pronged” approach to China, a researcher said yesterday. The report on Friday said that Washington might allow the nation to change the office’s name to “Taiwan Representative Office.” The report came after US President Joe Biden on Thursday spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) by telephone for the first time since February. A White House readout of the call said that “the two leaders discussed the responsibility of both