Taiwan's legislature agrees to form constitutional amendment committee

Committee to discuss key constitutional issues starting in new term later this week

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Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (CNA file photo)

Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (CNA file photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's legislature will form a 39-member bipartisan group to push for constitutional amendments starting in the new term that begins on Friday (Sept. 18).

Lawmakers reached a consensus during a preliminary meeting on Monday (Sept. 14) on the formation of a constitutional amendment committee. With the committee established, a number of issues that politicians and civil groups have been calling for to be reformed will be discussed, including the reduction of the voting age from 20 to 18, as well as the abolition of both the Control Yuan and the Examination Yuan.

In addition, some experts are also urging that the constitutional amendment threshold be lowered. Apart from passing the legislature with an absolute majority vote, a constitutional amendment requires a public referendum.

The referendum will only be passed when half the electorate, or in excess of nine million people, vote in favor of the change. The number of required votes is higher than President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) record 8.17 million received in January's presidential election.

The committee will consist of 22 lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), 14 from the Kuomintang (KMT), two from the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP), and one from the New Power Party (NPP). The numbers are decided according to the proportion of seats each party holds in the legislature.