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Social Democratic Party urges Taiwan to emulate Finland

Social Democratic Party urges Taiwan to emulate Finland

Taipei, April 6 (CNA) Taiwan's nascent Social Democratic Party (SDP, ?????) on Monday advocated that the country learn from Finland in devising a constitutional amendment that aligns responsibility with the authority granted to political leaders. According to SDP convener Fan Yun (??), Finland's current system is very applicable to Taiwan. Similar to Taiwan, Finland is a small nation with direct presidential elections and a diverse ethnic mix that long endured the specter of communism from the former Soviet Union, Fan said. In Finland, the president is responsible for international relations and national defense, while all other powers are handled by the prime minister, she said. The SDP said its platform for constitutional reform is based on reforming the Legislature and safeguarding civil rights. The party wants to increase the number of legislative and legislator-at-large seats, and change the voting system. The SDP also hopes to lower the threshold that must be met by political parties to participate in the government. The details of how the voting system should be altered should be decided at the legislature level, said SDP. In addition, legal guidelines should be established to improve the governance of political parties. In terms of safeguarding civil rights, the SDP advocated increasing public participation by lowering the voting age to 18 and putting the right to launch and vote in referendums in the people's hands. Furthermore, the party vowed to bring renewed justice to the people in all facets of life, including taxation, the environment, worker's rights, ethnicity, employment and sexual equality, all to be protected by the constitution after its forthcoming reform. Fan said Taiwan's constitutional reform process must include smaller political parties, and should not be dominated by the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) and the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) alone. Meanwhile, Fan railed against the ruling party, saying that its watered-down constitutional reform proposal, which calls for the number of legislative seats to remain unchanged, is nothing but a ruse to net the beleaguered KMT some short-term relief from its dwindling approval ratings. The KMT's proposal also overlooks human rights, Fan added. Fan also blasted DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen's (???) for backtracking on a previous position by ruling out the party's support for a parliamentary system for Taiwan. (By Lu Hsin-hui and Ted Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-26 14:09 GMT+08:00