In attempt to resolve the chaos of the top-level administrative system in the constitution, Taiwan Solidarity Union legislative leader Ho Min-hao (何敏豪) yesterday called for a new constitution.
Ho made the suggestion in response to former Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Lin Yi-shung's open letter on Saturday, which criticized the president for regularly summoning ministers and officials and intervening in major administrative operations.
In the letter, published on local Chinese-language dailies, Lin pointed out that the existing constitution has thrown the top administrative system into chaos since the DPP came to power.
The president appoints a premier under the R.O.C. Constitution, so the president often has the opportunity to intervene in major policies. The former DPP chairman also said that the president should not be summoning ministers or officials and giving them instructions in private.
Responding to the former DPP chairman, TSU legislative convener Ho Min-hao yesterday stressed that it was necessary to propose a new constitution in order to clarify the president's and the premier's powers and responsibilities. He pointed out that the chaos in the Constitution has caused outgoing Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) to fail in carrying out his own major policies, forcing the premier to step down.
While the role of the premier is usually described as that of top administrative chief, the premier is actual duties correspond to just being the president's executive director, he said. This resulted in Hsieh often failing to implement administrative measures in the opposition-controlled Legislature, Ho noted, adding that this just proves the inappropriateness of the current two-head system in which the premier, not the president, is accountable for policies.
TSU legislative leader urged the ruling and opposition parties to consider drafting a new constitution to resolve these problems.
On the other hand, DPP Legislative Whip Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) said it is questioned why the president should not summon ministers or officials and give them instructions privately. Yeh said that as the Taiwan people will still blame the president for failures in major administrative policies despite the current government structure, the president should, for efficiency, be able to speak to and advise ministers without having to inform the premier.