Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday called for reform to the presidential adviser selection system, saying the system has been marred by controversy and is limited in function.
"The presidential adviser system was established by the previous regime. But the advisers' functions are limited and [the existence of the system] has been controversial. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to call for reform to the system," Lu said.
Lu made the remarks in response to a question about whether the list of presidential advisers released on Friday represents President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) reconciliation with the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) "deep greens," a group which lashed out at Chen when Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) made visits to China.
Instead of answering the question directly, the vice president called for a reform to the system.
To show her appreciation of nature, Lu yesterday held a press conference at Wuling Farm in Hsueh-pa National Park.
Lu also expressed regret over the bill passed in the legislature on Friday which requires the National Assembly to ratify amendments by a three-quarters majority vote. The law also allow the National Assembly members to abstain from a vote.
"In [last Saturday's] election, 83 percent of voters backed parties that support the constitutional amendment package, translating to 249 seats in the National Assembly. Supposedly the constitutional amendments would pass without the need to convene the National Assembly," Lu said.
Not only does the law governing the functions of the National Assembly require a three-quarters majority of votes, it also allows representatives to abstain, a move that the vice president was made "in bad faith."
Lu also said the legislature had turned the National Assembly elections into a joke by passing the law.
"What if some National Assembly representatives who were supposed to vote for the amendments abstain from voting? Should they still get paid?" she said.
When asked to comment on the possibility for a meeting between President Chen and Chinese President Hu Jintao (
Since China has made the "one China" principle a precondition for cross-strait negotiations, and only those Taiwanese politicians who denounce independence are interested in talks with Beijing. Lu said the chance for a Chen-Hu meeting was slim.
"We should not jump to any conclusion before 2008," Lu said, adding that cross-strait issues not only concern Taiwan and China, but also the US.
"As Chen and [US President George W.] Bush are to complete their terms in office in 2008 and China will hold the 2008 Olympic Games that year, there may be a chance for a breakthrough in cross-strait relations," Lu said.
When asked about her teaming up with Shin Kong Wu Ho-su Memorial Hospital deputy superintendent Huang Fang-yen (黃芳彥) to run in the 2008 presidential election, Lu said she may do so, but only under the DPP banner.
Lu said she was surprised that First Lady Wu Shu-chen (吳淑珍) had made such a prediction while she was in the US.
"[Wu] might think that since the DPP won't nominate me as the presidential candidate in 2008, I would therefore quit the party. I can tell you all I will not leave the party," the vice president said.
Lu spent her second day at Wuling Farm planting a cherry blossom trees and sightseeing. The vice president has been active in promoting the farm's upcoming cherry blossom festival.
"Instead of going to Japan to see cherry blossoms, let's come back here to enjoy the spectacular view when all these trees begin to blossom," Lu said.
‘CROCODILE TEARS’: The Taiwan Statebuilding Party said the Kaohsiung mayor was only apologizing after a poll revealed that 45% of the city’s residents favored a recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) at a city council session yesterday apologized for taking three months off last year to campaign for January’s presidential election. Han said that he was now prioritizing municipal affairs and was focused primarily on preventing the spread of COVID-19. He was “doing two days’ work each day” to make up for time lost, he said. Han on May 5 attended a city council session for the first time in 201 days, giving a report on pandemic response measures. At yesterday’s session, Han said the Kaohsiung City Government would be injecting NT$50 million (US$1.67 million) into the
Taipei City Councilor Wu Pei-yi (吳沛憶) on Saturday urged the Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs to designate the Japanese colonial-era Showa Building (昭和樓) a cultural heritage site to protect it from being demolished. Wu made the remarks after the department on Tuesday last week visited the building to evaluate it for preservation, a standard procedure before a public building that is more than 50 years old is razed. The Showa Building, on Zhongxiao E Road Sec 2, was a rare kind of office building when it was constructed in 1942, Wu said. The three-story building was built with reinforced concrete and has European-style
A proposal by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) to permanently ban sitting in Taipei Railway Station’s main hall has received a mixed reaction online, with some social media users vowing to launch a sit-in at the station. Gatherings at the hall have been prohibited since Feb. 29 in accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s policy of reducing crowd sizes in public places. A Facebook user organizing the sit-in said that the hall is a public space and there is no legitimate reason to ban sitting on the floor. He said he suspected that the proposal was made due to business considerations and
Chinese over-the-top (OTT) service provider iQiyi cannot register as a provider in Taiwan after the Mainland Affairs Council declared it to be an illegal service, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. Both iQiyi and WeTV were deemed to be illegal Chinese OTT operators in an interdepartmental meeting on Friday last week, officials said, adding that this prohibits them from marketing their services in Taiwan or seeking subscribers. The government plans to block a local server that iQiyi has been using to transmit content to domestic audiences, which would disrupt its content transmission. OTT Entertainment Ltd, which is enlisted by iQiyi to