Legislature sets up committee to revise Constitution

10/06/2020 02:49 PM
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The Legislature. CNA file photo
The Legislature. CNA file photo

Taipei, Oct. 6 (CNA) An ad hoc committee that will consider revisions to the Constitution of the Republic of China (Taiwan) was launched at the Legislative Yuan on Tuesday, following the approval of the list of committee members.

Under the Legislature's rules, such a committee is required to review constitutional amendments. The caucuses of the ruling and opposition parties agreed on Sept. 14 to set it up amid calls for revisions, such as lowering the voting age from 20 to 18.

On Tuesday, the 39 members of the new committee were named after the positions were allotted to different parties based on their proportion of seats in the legislative body.

As a result, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) controlled 22 committee seats, the Kuomintang 14, the Taiwan People's Party two, and the New Power Party one.

The DPP ceded two of its seats to non-DPP lawmakers. One went to independent lawmaker Freddy Lim (林昶佐), and the other went to Taiwan Statebuilding Party lawmaker Chen Po-wei (陳柏惟).

In Taiwan, amending the Constitution starts in the Legislature.

Constitutional amendments are first proposed in the lawmaking body and must receive the backing of at least one-fourth of the 113 lawmakers to be forwarded to the Procedure Committee, which will then assign them to the new Constitutional Amendment Committee for review.

Eleven such amendments were proposed in the most recent legislative session, including lowering the voting age from 20 to 18 and abolishing the Control Yuan and Examination Yuan, and could be taken up by the new committee.

For a proposal to be approved by the committee, it must be backed by at least half of the committee's members present at a committee meeting attended by at least one-third of its members.

Once a proposal clears the committee, it would then have to be approved by at least three-quarters of the lawmakers present at a meeting of the full Legislature attended by a minimum of three-quarters of all lawmakers.

If that threshold is met, the proposals are then decided on by the people through a public referendum.

(By Wang Cheng-chung and Elizabeth Hsu)

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