Taipei, Aug. 19 (CNA) Opposition political parties began pushing for draft amendments to the Constitution on Monday to abolish the Control Yuan, the nation's highest government supervisory body although the ruling party appeared hesitant about the move.
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-proposed draft amendments advocate replacing the Control Yuan with human rights ombudsmen.
The Republic of China (ROC)'s five-branch government is based on the three-branch system of some Western countries, with the addition of the Control Yuan for supervision and the Examination Yuan for overseeing civil service employment.
The DPP said Monday that there has long been discussion over the function of the latter two agencies, taking Japan's governmental system as a point of reference.
Under the party's proposal, the Legislature would establish a committee to carry out auditing and install three human rights commissioners.
The same day, the smaller Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislative caucus told a press conference that it will bring forth its version of amendments to the Constitution to disband the Control Yuan during the next legislative session.
The TSU caucus said that it has been advocating a three-branch government instead of Taiwan's current five-branch system.
The party cited inefficiency and budgetary concerns as the reason to abolish the Control Yuan, which spends NT$700 million (US$23.3 million) a year. The TSU wants the agency's rights to audit, investigate and impeach transferred over to the Legislative Yuan, while the responsibility for property declaration of public servants would move to the Ministry of Justice's Agency Against Corruption.
Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien fueled the debate recently when he called for a discussion on the raison d'etre of his agency after its members voted twice not to impeach Keelung Mayor Chang Tung-jung, who has been convicted of abuse of power and meddling in police affairs and handed a deferred sentence.
"If the Control Yuan cannot uphold justice, we would be better off just shutting it down," Wang said, drawing strong reactions from 19 of its 29 members.
The ruling Kuomintang gave a lukewarm response to the proposed amendments, though, with Central Policy Committee head Lin Hung-chih saying that the Control Yuan's abolishment is up for debate, but amending the Constitution is a matter requiring careful consideration.
Amendments to the Constitution must be made upon the proposal of no less than one-fourth of the total members of the 113-seat Legislative Yuan and by resolution of no less than three quarters of the members present at a sitting, with a quorum of no less than three-fourth of the entire Legislative Yuan members.
Six months after the legislative approval, it then has to be referred to the electorate through a referendum and must be passed by over half of the total number of eligible voters.