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Eric Chu urges DPP to work with KMT on constitutional reform, other issues

Eric Chu urges DPP to work with KMT on constitutional reform, other issues

With less than a week to go before the election for KMT chairman, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu, the sole candidate in the contest, was busy Saturday in meetings in several corners of the island. He took time to level criticism at a couple of the leading names in the opposition DPP along the way, blasting DPP chair Tsai Ing-wen for inconsistency in her call for a cabinet system of government but no comment on the subject following the party’s strong showing in the November 29 elections. He also lit into Tainan City Mayor William, saying that he should not allow internal quibbling in the party develop into major political issues.

Chu oversaw meetings Saturday in Kaohsiung, Taitung and Taipei. He was greeted with a warm welcome by local grassroots figures in every stop. He reminded party members of his earlier statements that the cabinet system will be one of the key aims in KMT party promotions in the future. He suggested that the basic threshold in ruling party issues be lowered to three percent, and added that eighteen-year-olds should be granted the right to vote and absentee voting should be allowed in party elections.

Chu also addressed widely-held fears that implementation of the cabinet system would mean that fewer legislators would eventually make their way into the Executive Yuan. Chu said that switching over to a cabinet system of government would attract more talented people to run for seats in the Legislative Yuan and from thence to service as minister in the executive branch of the government.

Chu added that in the present schema the actions of the Legislative Yuan has the right of approval over personnel in the Examination Yuan, Control Yuan and Judicial Yuan, but not the Executive Yuan. He said that if Taiwan's political system is to be more effective and consistent, the Legislative Yuan must at least hold the right of approval over nominations for Premier.

Chu criticized Tsai Ing-wen for waffling on the cabinet system issue. He said the DPP chair was all for the cabinet system before the 9-in-1 elections but has been mum ever since. This shows, he said, that "politicians only care about the next election; they are not concerned about ways to ensure Taiwan has a happy future."

Chu also had a few words of advice for Tainan City Mayor William Lai in his struggles with Tainan City Council Speaker Lee Chuan-chiao. He mocked Lai for saying to Lee, "You are my brother" even as Lee is suspected of being involved in bribery and corruption in recent elections in the city council. He warned Lai, "Do not let internal struggles in the party lead to failure. It will only bring even more clashes in the future!"

Chu noted that a month has already passed since he announced that he would be a candidate for KMT party chairman. In that period the DPP has positioned itself as the "victor" in the November 29 elections and everyone from the party spokesperson to local political figures have made malicious remarks and spread vicious rumors that the KMT has had to refute. Chu urged that "the ruling and opposition parties can compete in elections but they do not need to fight. We can talk to each other and cooperate with each other on problems such as constitutional reform."

On the issue of reform in the KMT, Chu stressed that "KMT policies should not reflect the will of the chairman but rather the will of all party members collectively." He added that the party does not need a political star, rather everyone should work together to lead the nation. Today’s opposition party may not always be the opposition, he warned. He said that if the KMT can reach down into the grass roots of Taiwan politics and nurture new talent and public officials who are more down to earth and serious about serving the people, the voters will respond. He said the KMT "faltered in the last elections, but it has not failed."

Updated : 2021-09-21 07:50 GMT+08:00