Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) and Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said they support the idea of moving the Legislative Yuan to Taichung.
Tsai was in Taichung yesterday when he told reporters he has raised the idea of relocating the Legislative Yuan to the city many times and it is still with him after becoming deputy legislative speaker.
The relocation of the Legislative Yuan cannot be a matter decided by the legislative speaker and the deputy legislative speaker, but requires a consensus among the caucuses, Tsai said, adding that the new government’s opinion has to be taken into account, as well as government funding for the relocation
“The idea is not to divide Taiwan into regions, but the capital needs to be relieved of its burden,” he said, adding that he also supports national land planning and location planning for government institutions for regional balance.
“We can see the idea of dual capitals being implemented in many countries in the world, such as the US, where the economic center is New York, while the political center is Washington,” Tsai said. “Taipei is crowded and has a lot of traffic congestion. We could probably start a discussion of the idea, with the relocation of the Legislative Yuan being the first move.”
He used the call to allow independent journalists and the general public to sit in on the legislative meetings as an example.
“We support it based on our belief in legislative transparency, but you would find it hard to achieve in practice, as the rooms in the Legislative Yuan are small, to the extent that sometimes even government officials have no place to sit during meetings,” Tsai said. “We would therefore also view the relocation as an issue that involves how the public could participate in the legislative process and independent journalists could supervise their representatives.”
Su, who also went to Taichung yesterday, said it is “not impossible” when asked about the relocation, calling for a public deliberation assessing whether the change would benefit Taiwan in terms of development, regional balance and bridging the urban-rural divide.
The Legislative Yuan pays about NT$50 million (US$1.5 million) in rent per year to the Taipei City Government.
Additional Reporting by CNA
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