A coalition of youth groups yesterday urged lawmakers to draft a new constitution that would better reflect the separate governance of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.
The coalition, called the Taiwan New Constitution Youth Front, said that it wants a constitution that guarantees more rights, reflects the nation’s current political reality and contains the “voices of the youth.”
The coalition’s call came after the Legislative Yuan on Tuesday formally established an ad hoc Constitutional Amendment Committee, following the approval of a list of 39 committee members from across party lines.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
The “first problem” in the amendment process is a bottleneck of more than 30 proposed amendments advanced by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said Feng Hui-lun (馮輝倫), a coalition organizer and Taoyuan City Youth Advisory Committee member.
The DPP must arrive at an internal consensus and then iron out agreements with opposition parties, he said.
Once a proposed constitutional amendment leaves the Legislative Yuan and a six-month public notice is completed, then nearly 10 million voters must approve the proposal in a referendum, he added.
The Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China (中華民國憲法增修條文) stipulates that after the legislature approves a proposal to amend the Constitution, more than one-half of the nation’s electorate must vote in favor of the proposal in a referendum.
In the Jan. 11 presidential election, there were 19,311,105 eligible voters, Central Election Commission data showed.
Under “such difficult circumstances,” it might be “more appropriate” for the nation to draw up a new constitution, Feng said.
The Constitution has been revised seven times — mostly recently in 2005, he added.
“Over the past 15 years, with changes in culture and technology, many new ideas and concepts have been proposed and discussed,” Feng said. “However, the protection of rights has not kept up.”
“The Republic of China has been in Taiwan for 70 years, but when we open the Constitution of the Republic of China, we find that there are many parts that are not in line with the current political reality of separate governance of the two sides [of the Taiwan Strait],” coalition organizer Lin Chun-chieh (林俊杰) said.
Lin, a law student at Chung Yuan Christian University in Taoyuan, said that he urges “all young people and all people of different generations to stand up and speak your vision of the country.”
“A lot of young people have in the past few years continued to stand up,” Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy managing director Alvin Chang (張育萌) said.
“It is not a coincidence,” Chang added. “Young people today urgently desire the reform of the constitutional government.”
Additional reporting by CNA
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