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Structure of constitution should stay: Su

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday said that the main structure of the R.O.C. Constitution should not be altered in future amendments, as to avoid potential disputes over Taiwan's unique political position.

The chairman made the remarks at the party's weekly Central Standing Committee meeting, yesterday's being the last one Su would host as chairman.

Amendments to the constitution should be made without triggering disputes over the nation's flag, title and land; the focus should be placed on the central government system, said Su.

When Su's recent suggestion for the Legislature to increase the number of legislator seats was brought up by the media during President Ma Ying-jeou's speech on Tuesday, the president answered that constitutional amendments should be made with extreme caution as to avoid stirring up anxiety among the public. “The constitution's spirit aims to stabilize things; one does not amend it whenever he likes,” Ma concluded.

The amendments should be made for the good of Taiwan's future, said Su. “The central government structure is unchangeable, but there are calls from the public to amend the constitution,” the chairman stressed. “The parliament should be interacting with the executive government departments to relay the people's opinions ... the parliamentary system will at its best when it comes to making the people's voices heard.”

In order to fully implement the parliamentary system, there should be enough members in the Legislature, said Su. “Once the parliament members become members of the Cabinet, there may be only 60 or 70 lawmakers left in the Legislature; the additional seats should be for legislators-at-large so the younger generation and disadvantaged citizens are allowed a chance to enter the parliament. A variety of opinions would meet Taiwan's current needs,” said Su.

While Taiwanese citizens are allowed to vote after turning 20, many other countries have set the age at 18 years old, something Taiwan should follow, said Su. “The age limit alternation should be part of the constitution as well,” said Su.

“The amendment should not be delayed any longer. We should stop the bickering and the talk of the old days.”

Chairman Elections Coming Up

The DPP's chairman elections are set for May 25, with former Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former Kaohsiung County Deputy Commissioner Kuo Tai-lin (郭泰麟) running for the position.

Tsai allegedly has the upper hand when it comes to intraparty preferences.

When the election results are confirmed in the Central Executive Committee meeting on May 28, Su will be handing over his power to the next chair.

Aside from the party head, the DPP's local chapter will be holding elections for its representatives on May 25.

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