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KMT urged to pass laws to restrict presidential powers

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) should amend the Constitution to impose a proper system of checks and balances on presidential powers to enhance political accountability and ensure long-term political stability, an academic said yesterday.

Chiang Min-chin, a National Taipei University professor, made the appeal at a seminar on Taiwan's political development following Saturday's legislative elections in which the KMT swept to a landslide victory, taking 81 of the 113 seats up for grabs.

Saturday's polls enable the KMT to control more than two-thirds of the new streamlined legislature and if the five seats won by its political allies are calculated, the number of seats at the KMT's disposal reaches as high as three quarters. Such an overwhelming majority allows the KMT to single-handedly topple the Cabinet, recall and impeach the president and even pass a constitutional amendment proposal.

Chiang, who is widely known as a pro-KMT scholar, said the KMT, while basking in the glory of its grand-slam legislative win, should use its newly gained parliamentary majority responsibly to help craft a more reasonable and viable political system to facilitate Taiwan's sustainable development.

For one thing, Chiang said, the president's power should be checked and balanced in line with the principle of political accountability.

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