Constitutional reform is one of the most important advancements for Taiwan, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, adding that items that should be prioritized include lowering the voting age from 20 to 18, and abolishing the Examination Yuan and the Control Yuan, as the issues have cross-party consensus.
Tsai made the remarks in a speech at the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) national congress in Taipei, which she presided over in her capacity as party chairperson.
Tsai highlighted major missions for the party.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
First, the DPP should quickly propose guidelines on constitutional amendments related to lowering the voting age — along with other civil rights provided to citizens over 20 — as well as abolishing the Examination Yuan and the Control Yuan, so that party caucuses can discuss the issues at the legislature’s Constitutional Amendment Committee, Tsai said.
Tsai also called on opposition parties, saying that all parties should cherish the “constitutional moment.”
Second, the DPP should dedicate more resources to cultivating young talent for the nation, she said.
Third, the party should continue to deepen democracy in Taiwan and defend its democratic values amid global uncertainties, Tsai said, citing the situation in Hong Kong, where freedom and human rights have become seriously undermined after China imposed national security legislation on the territory.
As a party that survived totalitarian oppression, the DPP would share Taiwan’s experience in establishing democratic institutions with the international community, and support Hong Kongers fighting for democracy, Tsai said.
Fourth, the DPP should “recover its glory in Kaohsiung” by winning the city’s mayoral by-election, which is set for Aug. 15, she said.
Tsai also said that Taiwan’s economic recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic has had a good start, as crowds were seen in various locations nationwide on the first weekend following the release of the government’s Triple Stimulus Vouchers, which she said was a sign of increased business opportunities.
However, the DPP cannot be complacent about its policy results, otherwise public support could slip away, Tsai said, telling party members that “integrity, diligence and love for the country” remain the party’s chief commitments.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokeswoman Hung Yu-chien (洪于茜) said that constitutional reform should be carried out with cross-party consensus, but the Tsai administration does nothing but “exercise crushing tyranny of the majority.”
The attitude shows no respect for opposition parties and creates “extremely unequal power between the ruling and opposition parties” at the legislature, Hung added.
The KMT believes the DPP is bringing up abolishing the Examination Yuan and the Control Yuan to shift focus away from its incompetence at governing the nation and its tyrannical leadership, she said.
The KMT would establish a constitutional amendment committee comprising party members and academics to discuss issues, including the Examination Yuan and the Control Yuan, she said.
The KMT would not finalize its stance on the matter before that, she added.
New Power Party caucus whip Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) said his party would support constitutional reform, as it would address issues that have long been unresolved.
Taiwan People’s Party Legislator Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) agreed, saying that abolishing the two branches of government and lowering the voting age to 18 are also the party’s long-time appeals.
Additional reporting by Lin Liang-sheng and Hsieh Chun-lin
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South