DPP and TSU to propose constitution committee

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Dec 26, 2012 - Page 3

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislative caucuses yesterday said they plan to jointly propose establishing a Constitution Amendment Committee in the next legislative session.

“Amending the Constitution would be the most important task for politicians of our time, as the Constitution is the root of all Taiwan’s problems,” DPP caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said.

Ker was speaking at a meeting with representatives of pro-independence civic groups, who urged the DPP to propose removing text relating to “unification” in the Republic of China Constitution.

The Organic Law of the Legislative Yuan (立法院組織法) permits the establishment of a Constitution Amendment Committee, consisting of one-third of the total legislative seats plus one lawmaker, Ker said. Past proposals to establish such a committee have been blocked by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

Amendments to the Constitution must be passed by at least three-quarters of the members of the legislature and sanctioned by a national referendum. Given the high threshold, constitutional amendment would be difficult, requiring collaboration from all political parties, Ker said.

“However, we should at least establish the committee first because the mechanism is in place and the legislature should not abandon its mandate of constitutional amendment,” he said.

Ker said the DPP would collaborate with the TSU to propose establishing the committee and an Ad Hoc Committee on pension reform in the next legislative session.

Ker urged the KMT not to block the proposals in the Procedure Committee once they are submitted to the legislature.

TSU Legislator Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉), who is to be the party’s caucus whip in the next session, pledged the TSU’s full support for the proposal.

Representatives from the Taiwan Society, Taiwan Association of University Professors, Taiwan North Society and Hakka Society visited the DPP caucus yesterday and urged action on the Constitution.

The text “To meet the requisites of national unification ...” listed in the preface of the additional articles of the Constitution, should be removed to respond to mainstream public opinion, Taiwan Society president Wu Shu-min (吳樹民) said.