Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators have proposed amendments seeking to strip convicted legislators of their position if they have to serve time in prison.
Independent Legislator Fu Kun-chi (傅崐萁) of Hualien County was in May sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison, but retained his status as a lawmaker, allowing him to exercise his power from jail.
The proposed amendments state that convicted legislators who must serve time must be removed from their positions and a by-election be held immediately.
DPP Legislator Chang Liao Wan-chien’s (張廖萬堅) proposal calls for legislators to be stripped of their position if they receive a prison sentence of at least one year.
DPP Legislator Michelle Lin (林楚茵) proposed that all legislators failing to report to duty within two months of the start of a legislative session should be denied their salaries and other subsidies.
DPP Legislator Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) proposed that legislators failing to appear in regular meetings of up to two sessions should be removed from their position.
The proposals were submitted in May to the legislature’s Judiciary, Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, and the legislature on Tuesday began reviewing Wang’s proposal.
DPP caucus whip Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) said that the party has not discussed the issue, but that in his personal opinion, city councils’ practice of automatically removing a councilor from their position once they are convicted could be used as a reference.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) secretary-general Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) said that the KMT caucus has not discussed the issue, as the proposed amendments have not yet been scheduled for review.
However, she agreed that the city council example was a viable option and would serve to highlight legislative unity.
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