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President approves request for Legislature to reconsider bills

06/11/2024 04:02 PM
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President Lai Ching-te. CNA file photo
President Lai Ching-te. CNA file photo

Taipei, June 11 (CNA) President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) has signed off on a Cabinet request for the Legislature to reconsider recently passed law revisions aimed at improving the oversight of the executive branch.

In a press release, Presidential Office spokeswoman Kuo Ya-hui (郭雅慧) said the Presidential Office notified the Cabinet and the Legislature of Lai's decision Tuesday morning, adding that the president looked forward to "a broad consensus on the amendments' legitimacy and constitutionality" once members of the Legislature reexamined the passed bills.

The amendments to the Law Governing the Legislative Yuan's Power and the Criminal Code were approved on May 28 by opposition Kuomintang (KMT) and Taiwan People's Party (TPP) lawmakers, who form a majority in the Legislature.

However, the Cabinet said June 6 that it would seek reconsideration by the Legislature on the grounds that the passed bills were "unconstitutional" and "difficult to implement."

The passed measures will give the Legislature new investigative powers and the power to hold hearings, which include potentially imposing penalties on public officials and related individuals if they refuse to attend or provide information, or present false information.

There are also measures requiring the president's presence at the Legislative Yuan to give an annual state of the nation address and then take questions from the floor.

Although the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has vehemently opposed the revisions, it advocated for increased oversight of the executive branch while in opposition. However, the party has sidelined this issue since coming into power in 2016.

The KMT and TPP, meanwhile, maintain that the revisions have followed due process and are a necessary reform, particularly in light of allegations of corruption and wrongdoing relating to several major DPP government policies and investment projects.

According to Article 3-2 (2) of the Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China, if the Executive Yuan finds a bill passed by the Legislative Yuan difficult to execute, it can, with presidential approval, request the Legislature's reconsideration within 10 days of receiving the bill.

Within 15 days of receiving the Cabinet's request, the Legislature must vote on whether to uphold the bill's passage. If the Legislature fails to reach a decision within this period, the bill will become void.

It requires the consent of more than half of all sitting legislators, or a minimum of 57 votes in the current Legislature, to uphold the bill.

If a minimum of 57 lawmakers support the contentious law revisions, the president will then be required to sign them into law.

Should this happen, the Cabinet, or DPP lawmakers, may move to seek a ruling from the Constitutional Court on the constitutionality of the revisions.

(By Teng Pei-ju)

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