Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

DPP chairwoman's rejection of parliamentary system 'ploy:' KMT

DPP chairwoman's rejection of parliamentary system 'ploy:' KMT

Taipei, March 31 (CNA) The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) countered Tuesday opposition Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen's dismissal of a shift to a parliamentary system of government for Taiwan, saying that she was once in favor of such a change and that her opposition now might be a political ploy. When she was running for the DPP chair position last year, KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chung said, Tsai declared that "I also support a switch from the presidential system or semi-presidential system to the parliamentary system." The KMT move came a day after Tsai told a group of party lawmakers that "the parlimentary system is out of the question," in her first declaration of her position on a KMT proposal to revise the country's Constitution to create such a system. Tsai based her claim on what she said is mainstream public opinion in which the majority of the public prefers to directly vote for their president. Yang countered Tsai's statement, saying that polls show that 60 percent-70 percent of the public would support giving the power back to the Legislature to approve the appointment of premier nominated by the president, which is in the spirit of the parliamentary system. He accused Tsai of giving greater weight to direct presidential elections than reinstating the Legislature's power to approve the premier appointed by the president. The chairwoman's claim also raises questions as to whether "her political calculations supercede her ideals for constitutional reforms," Yang said.
Critics said Tsai's opposition to the parliamentary system a day earlier stems from her confidence that she will win the 2016 presidential election and that her party will secure more power under the current system than under the parlimentary system, since past elections show that the DPP has never dominated the Legislature. KMT lawmakers unveiled a proposal Friday to revise the Constitution by giving lawmakers back the power to approve the president's appointment of the premier, as part of a shift toward the parliamentary system.
Taiwan currently uses the semi-presidential system and the country's president names the prime minister without having to seek consent from the Legislative Yuan. The reforms were introduced amid complaints that Taiwan's presidents do not have to answer to the Legislature, while the premier must bear the brunt of opposition to major administration policies, usually by resigning. Another mainstream view nowadays is that the government system should be changed to one in which power is commensurate with responsibility, Yang said, noting that the parliamentary system is more in tune with such public calls.
If the DPP insists on opposing the KMT's constitutional reform proposals, at least it should make a counterproposal in response to public expecations, rather than simply focusing on calculating its political gains, he added.
(By Kelven Huang and Scully Hsiao)


Updated : 2021-09-17 12:15 GMT+08:00