Wed, Mar 13, 2019 - Page 3 News List

NPP wants changes to cross-strait laws

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

New Power Party legislators Hsu Yung-ming, left, and Kawlo Iyun Pacidal hold a news conference at the Legislative Yuan yesterday to push for legal amendments governing cross-strait political negotiations.

Photo courtesy of the New Power Party caucus

The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday said it would propose amendments to cross-strait and referendum laws that would require any agreement that the government makes with Beijing regarding Taiwan’s sovereignty to be seconded by referendums before taking effect.

According to the party’s proposed amendments to the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (臺灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) and the Referendum Act (公民投票法), before the government engages in talks with Beijing on issues related to sovereignty or war, it must obtain the approval of the Legislative Yuan, NPP caucus convener Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said.

Two-thirds of legislators must attend a discussion of the proposed negotiations, which must be approved by at least two-thirds of the attendees, he said.

After that, the proposed negotiations must pass a nationwide referendum before the government can begin the talks, Hsu said.

Any agreements reached during the negotiations must also be approved by the Legislative Yuan and pass a referendum, he added.

For the agreements to take effect, three-quarters of the legislature must attend a discussion of the agreements, which must be approved by at least three-fourth of the attendees, and more than half of the nation’s electorate must vote in favor of them, Hsu said.

The NPP agrees with the Mainland Affairs Council’s proposal to amend the two laws and hopes the Executive Yuan would soon unveil its proposed amendments, he said.

“We hope this would get the Executive Yuan and the council going on the task. The New Power Party has done its job and is ready,” he said, adding that a mechanism for ensuring cross-strait oversight should be established as soon as possible.

The draft amendments are similar to what the council said it is planning to propose last month, the only difference being the council had said the first referendum could be consultative in nature.

Since consultative referendums are not governed by the Referendum Act, the Executive Yuan would have to stipulate enforcement rules for such referendums, the council said at the time.

While the Executive Yuan has yet to unveil its proposed amendments, last month it listed amending the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area to increase oversight on cross-strait talks as a priority for the current legislative session.

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