Tue, Feb 23, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Rules on committee members selection irk NPP lawmakers

LOTTERY SEATS:The New Power Party asked that smaller parties be given a choice of picking committees that better fit their areas of expertise

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Committee membership for legislators of smaller parties should not be determined by drawing lots, New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said yesterday, after many of the party’s lawmakers did not make it onto their preferred committees.

Of the party’s five legislators, only Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) and Hung Tzu-yung (洪慈庸) got their top choices, becoming members of the Economics Committee and the Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee respectively.

However, Freddy Lim (林昶佐) was allotted a seat on the Foreign and National Defense Committee instead of the Education and Culture Committee, which went to Amis Legislator Kawlo Iyun Pacidal, who was hoping for a place on the Internal Administration Committee governing Aboriginal affairs.

“If the larger parties have the generosity to let smaller parties pick from their areas of expertise, that would be a better way to handle it,” Huang, who doubles as the NPP’s executive chairman, said as he echoed comments by People First Party Legislator Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞).

Huang, who rose to prominence during the 2012 movement against monopolization of the media, was placed on the Finance Committee instead of the Transportation Committee, which has jurisdiction over the National Communications Commission, which regulates the media.

The Organic Law of Legislative Committees (立法院各委員會組織法) stipulates that parties that have too few legislators to qualify for seats on any of the legislature’s eight committees will have their committee membership determined by drawing lots.

Committee membership lasts for a year and lawmakers are allowed to trade positions if they fail to draw their preferred committee.

Parties with more than eight legislators are allotted committee membership proportionally and can directly submit committee membership lists.

In related news, Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) yesterday met with Social Democratic Party (SDP) officials to discuss legislative reform as the party grapples with its future after failing to win any seats in last month’s legislative elections.

SDP spokesman Chen Shang-chih (陳尚志) said that the party would seek to attract new members, but that specific plans would have wait until a new governing committee is elected next month.

The party has about 100 members, he said.

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