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Pollster thinks political imbalance threatens Taiwan democracy

Legislative Yuan and opposition too weak in the face of a strong president and premier

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Pollster Ying-lung You says the balance between the executive and the legislative branches of government is out of sync. 

Pollster Ying-lung You says the balance between the executive and the legislative branches of government is out of sync.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The disappearance of a powerful opposition to form a balance against the government is the most important threat to democracy in Taiwan, a political commentator said Thursday (Dec. 23).

Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation (TPOF) Chairman Ying-lung You (游盈隆) said the complete defeat of the opposition in the Dec. 18 referendums is a clear example of this trend, China Times reported. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) received the backing of voters, who rejected all four referendum questions supported by the main opposition Kuomintang (KMT).

Another example is that through the DPP’s absolute majority in the Legislative Yuan, the Cabinet is able to dominate government while the power and influence of lawmakers has shrunk, in You's opinion.

The president and the premier have grown so powerful that the Legislative Yuan is turning into a rubber-stamp body, the TPOF chairman claimed, warning that lawmakers are too weak to form an effective counterforce.

He complained the government proposal to merge Hsinchu City and Hsinchu County, and Tuesday’s (Dec. 21) referral of the central government budget straight to a second reading by the Legislative Yuan bypassing committee reviews as the results of excessive power residing with the executive branch of government.