The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday released the results of questionnaires it sent to the five nominees for the Council of Grand Justices, seeking their positions on 10 issues as varied as the separation of powers, same-sex marriage and gender equality.
The majority of the nominees support same-sex marriage, women’s rights to inheritance and Aboriginal rights to political participation.
Huang Jui-ming (黃瑞明), Hsu Chih-hsiung (許志雄) and Chan Sen-lin (詹森林) said they were inclined to recognize same-sex marriage as a constitutional right, while Chang Chung-wen (張瓊文) said there should be a special legislation for such marriages.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
Huang Chao-yuan (黃昭元) did not answer the question.
All the nominees except Chang said that it was a violation of gender equality under the Constitution that ancestor worship organizations generally exclude women from leadership positions.
Chang said the management of such groups should be understood in contractual terms.
All but Chang said that a referendum is the means by which the public exercises its right to draw the Constitution, while Chang is inclined to support a representative system in drafting the Constitution.
Huang Jui-ming, Chan and Hsu said that restricting Aborigines to voting only for Aboriginal legislative candidates was a violation of the principle of self-determination, while Chang said the system is a form of protection of Aboriginal rights rather than a limitation and Huang Chao-yuan said a constitutional amendment is needed on the issue.
All the nominees agreed that the constitutional requirement for judges to be non-partisan would not hamper the planned introduction of public participation in criminal trials, and they also agreed that it does not necessarily violate the principle of legitimate expectation if the planned pension reforms change the pension payment schemes.
The release of the questionnaire results came ahead of today’s legislative review of the five nominees.
“Chang’s position on basic human rights, including same-sex marriage and gender equality, is relatively conservative. The party will decide whether to exercise its right to consent after the nominee review tomorrow [today],” NPP Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said.
NPP Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said the nominees’ positions on pension reform efforts “will be a strong support for the government’s pension reform plan that is under way.”
Huang Jui-ming, Chang and Chan said the Ministry of Labor violated the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) by issuing an administrative order to exclude three types of professions from the so-called “one day off per week” rule of the act. Hsu and Huang Chao-yuan did not answer the question.
“The ministry’s modification of a law’s scope of authority through an administrative order is an example of the expansion of executive power without legislative oversight, which the NPP firmly objects to,” Huang Kuo-chang said.
As for legislative affairs, the president, if doubling as the chairperson of a political party, would be violating the principle of the separation of powers if they attempt to replace the legislative speaker by expelling the speaker from the party, Huang Ming-jui, Hsu and Chan said.
Huang Chao-yuan said such matters had to be determined on a case-by-case basis, while Chang did not answer the question.
Presidential intervention in the legislative branch became a source of controversy amid the “September strife” in 2013 between then-president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and then-legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).
Huang Kuo-chang said he was firmly opposed to a president being able to control their party’s lawmakers by serving as their party’s chairperson.
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