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《TAIPEI TIMES》 Premier vows to return contentious bills to legislature


Premier Cho Jung-tai, left, walks with Legislative Speaker Han Kuo-yu at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

Premier Cho Jung-tai, left, walks with Legislative Speaker Han Kuo-yu at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday. Photo: CNA

2024/05/30 03:00

REVIEW REQUIRED: The Cabinet does not want to fuel conflict, but aims to give the legislature a chance to perfect the bills and respond to public fears, Cho Jung-tai said

By Chung Li-hua, Chen Yu-fu and Kayleigh Madjar / Staff reporters, with staff writer

Premier Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) yesterday reiterated his promise to return a set of controversial reform bills to the Legislative Yuan for reconsideration, saying that the Cabinet is constitutionally obligated to do so if the new laws would be hard to enact.

Under Article 3 of the Additional Articles of the Constitution, the Cabinet can return a bill to the legislature for reconsideration within 10 days of its submission if it deems it difficult to execute.

If more than half of the total number of lawmakers uphold the original bill, the Cabinet must accept it. If they cannot reach a resolution within 15 days after the session begins, the bill becomes invalid.

Under the Act Governing the Legislative Yuan’s Power (立法院職權行使法), the legislature can also invite the premier to attend the review to explain the Cabinet’s reasoning.

Speaking to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday, Cho reiterated plans to return the bills that were approved by the legislature on Tuesday.

Once the Cabinet receives the bills and determines that they are difficult to execute, it is its responsibility to return them to the legislature as mandated in the Constitution, he said.

He also voiced support for the caucus’ plan to file for a constitutional interpretation.

Writing on Facebook late on Tuesday, Cho decried the amendments, saying they infringe on constitutionally defined rights, separation of powers and the principle of legal certainty.

“The precious thing about democracy is that consensus is built through discussion and communication,” he wrote.

By sending the set of bills back, the Cabinet does not intend to exacerbate conflict, but to give the legislature another chance to scrutinize and perfect the bills, and to respond to public concerns, he said.

If the Cabinet formally returns the bills for reconsideration, it would be the 14th time in the nation’s history it has done so.

Since 2000, the Cabinet has sent six bills back to the legislature. Four were during former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) tenure, and three of them failed to pass.

Of the two returned during former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) tenure, both passed, while no bills were returned under former president Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

President William Lai (賴清德), speaking in his capacity as DPP chairman, said that the party respects and supports decisions by the Cabinet to return the bills and the party caucus to file for a constitutional interpretation.

Meanwhile, DPP spokesman Justin Wu (吳崢) said that Lai had previously said he would be willing to give a state of the nation address at the legislature — as required in one of the reform bills — if it was conducted in a legal and constitutional manner.

Additional reporting by Chen Yun and CNA

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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