Given the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) landslide victory in Saturday's legislative poll, the public needs to form a sound mechanism of oversight to check the power of the party within the legislature, political analysts and civil societies said yesterday.
The KMT secured an overwhelming majority in the first legislative poll under the new "single district, two-vote system."
It won 57 of the 73 district seats, four out of the six Aboriginal seats and 20 of the 34 legislator-at-large seats.
The victory means that the KMT, along with the three seats secured by the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union (NPSU) -- which is on friendly terms with the KMT -- and one seat by the People First Party (PFP), now occupies three quarters of the legislature's 113 seats, while the DPP, which previously accounted for 89 of the former 217-seat legislature, only managed to win 27 this time.
The absolute majority the KMT enjoys will give it the power to initiate a proposal and pass a resolution to impeach the president.
With its two-thirds majority, it can also recall the president.
With the help of NPSU and PFP legislators, it has the authority to put constitutional amendments to a referendum.
The victory also means that the pan-blue camp could constitute a majority of each of the legislature's eight standing committees.
The number of committees was reduced from 13 to eight last year in preparation for the halving of seats, with each lawmaker only getting to participate in one committee. Each committee should consist of nine to 15 members.
The number of caucuses will decrease from five to three, with the three NPSU legislators also able to organize one caucus.
Ho Tsung-hsun (
"Not only did the so-called `third force' disappear [after the poll] but we also lack a second largest force [in the legislature]," Ho said.
Ho said it may be "exaggerated" to compare the results to the monopoly the KMT enjoyed in the 1990s, but the party now does have the power to determine the fate of all bills.
"We are worried that the KMT will propose bills to benefit itself between March 22 [the presidential poll] and May 20 [presidential inauguration]," he said.
George Tsai (
Tsai told the Taipei Times that even though there remained three caucuses -- the KMT, the DPP and the NPSU -- in the Legislative Yuan, he did not think there would be sufficient checks and balances between them.
Taipei University political analyst Herman Chiang (江岷欽) described the NPSU caucus as a group that can only "remind" rather than "constrain" the KMT, given the wide gap between their strength.
"The NPSU can best serve as a brake" when the KMT is pushing its own agenda in the legislature, Chiang said.
He said that the NPSU would only be able to block KMT proposals during the legislature's four-month cross-party negotiation period for controversial bills.
He said that now that it enjoys an absolute majority the KMT was likely to put bills it favors to a vote once the negotiation period is over.
However, he said the NPSU can still play a key role in the legislature if it can offer a different voice from the KMT and the DPP.
Ho said he was willing to believe in the KMT's resolution to push reform, but that Citizen Watch would still seek promises by the KMT and the DPP to make the legislature more "transparent" ahead of the presidential election.
This includes making the legislature's video-on-demand system -- which records the proceedings of all open-door committee meetings -- available to the public, he said.
Although the legislature provides the full archive of the recordings, the system can only be accessed within the network of the Legislative Yuan.
Tsai, on the other hand, looked to the media and academics for supervision of the KMT.
"Expecting the KMT to exercise self-restraint would be a little bit like fishing in the air," Tsai said.
The majority of parents surveyed in northern Taiwan favor the suspension of all on-site classes at schools from the junior-high level and below amid a surge in domestic COVID-19 infections, parent groups said yesterday. About 84.4 percent of respondents in a survey of 2,912 parents in northern Taiwan, where the outbreak is the most serious, said they supported suspending classes, the Action Alliance on Basic Education, the Taiwan Parents Protect Women and Children Association, and the Taiwan Love Children Association said. The groups distributed questionnaires to parents in New Taipei City, Taipei, Keelung, Taoyuan and Hsinchu city and county from Saturday morning
‘LONE WOLF’: The suspect was difficult to locate, as he did not use a cellphone, did not contact family and often lived in abandoned sites or parks, police said Taipei police on Thursday morning arrested a man accused of numerous burglaries and at least 14 incidents of sexual assault spanning more than 20 years, in what might be the nation’s most notorious crime spree in recent years. Sixty-year-old Tu Ming-lang (涂明朗) — who was yesterday placed in judicial detention, after a judge determined he was a flight risk without a fixed address — faces multiple charges of sexual assault and burglary, police said. A task force comprised of various law enforcement agencies arrested Tu as part of an investigation into an April 28 burglary in Daan District (大安), in which a
ASEAN BATTLEGROUND: Japan and Australia could be drawn into Pacific tensions as China sets its sights on the Diaoyutai Islands and further beyond the first island chain Tensions between China and the US in the Indo-Pacific region are expected to intensify, the National Security Bureau and Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, recommending that Taiwan continue to emphasize its shared values and interests to encourage resistance to Chinese aggression. US commitments in the Indo-Pacific region are expected to continue unabated despite the war in Ukraine, as Beijing takes advantage of the conflict to expand its influence in the region, the agencies said in reports delivered to the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee on Sunday, ahead of a hearing yesterday on regional developments and trends. Although Russia’s invasion of
ONLINE REPORT: Confirmed cases filling out the online contact tracing report can check a box to indicate that a close contact had received a booster dose, an official said The guidelines for diagnosing COVID-19 have been revised to include people aged 65 or older who test positive with a rapid test that is confirmed by a healthcare worker, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 65,794 new local infections. The CECC had first announced the change on Monday, before publishing the new guidelines. Starting today, people aged 65 or older, regardless of whether they are undergoing home quarantine, home isolation or self-disease prevention, can be classified as a confirmed COVID-19 case by a healthcare professional, based on a positive result from an antigen rapid test, said