No Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators yesterday attended a public hearing of the Legislative Yuan’s Constitutional Amendment Committee.
The legislative caucuses in 2020 established the committee amid calls to amend the Constitution, appointing 39 members based on a party’s proportion of seats in the legislature.
DPP Legislator Chou Chun-mi (周春米) convened yesterday’s session, which included DPP members, New Power Party legislators Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) and Claire Wang (王婉瑜), and Taiwan People’s Party Legislator Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿).
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
The KMT members of the committee on Wednesday said they would not participate, saying that the DPP had last week contravened legislative procedure in choosing Chou as convener in the opening session before KMT legislators had arrived.
“The KMT will not participate because the DPP is faking the process to deceive the public... The agenda and procedures were set by the DPP,” KMT Legislator William Tseng (曾銘宗) said on Wednesday, adding that the DPP “must bear total responsibility for the failure of the constitutional amendment process.”
DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) yesterday said that the KMT was sabotaging the process by boycotting it, adding that the “KMT’s goal is to ruin the constitutional amendment process.”
At yesterday’s meeting, Academia Sinica law researcher Su Yen-tu (蘇彥圖) told the committee that there is general agreement in Taiwan for “granting civil rights to adults at the age of 18, and also to give them voting rights.”
“Therefore the issue should be a priority for the committee, and does not need to go through any hard bargaining process,” he said.
Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy head Alvin Chang (張育萌) said that Taiwan needs to catch up on rights for young people, as “Japan, South Korea and Malaysia have amended their constitutions to grant voting and civil rights to people at 18 years old.”
Taiwan Forever Association chairman Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) said that it had been more than 15 years since a committee was convened to amend the Constitution, “while our nation’s framework and government have encountered many challenges and difficulties.”
“The threshold for amending the Constitution must be dealt with by this committee, as it is too high, requiring three-quarters of legislators to vote in approval,” he said. “This is among the highest threshold requirements, and should be lowered.”
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