DPP’s Tsai proposes ‘neutral’ LY speaker

By Stephanie Chao ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — With the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) winning a majority in the Legislature, its self-declared next step is carrying out its promised legislative reforms, including discussing a “neutral” speaker, which was on the agenda Wednesday.

DPP Chairwoman and President-elect Tsai Ing-wen proposed “three nos” for the Legislature’s speaker and deputy speaker at the DPP Central Standing Committee meeting, which were reported to the media by DPP spokesman Ruan Jhao-syong. The two shall not attend political party events; they shall not hold other positions in the party they are affiliated with; they shall not attend political party coordination platform meetings, with the exception of meetings required by the Constitution as representatives of the Legislature at conferences led by the president.

The DPP believes that the speaker’s partisan role must be limited, and the speaker must be able to “fairly lead” the Legislature, Tsai told Central Standing Committee members. Potential legislative speaker nominees will be expected to follow the requirements as well.

Legislature reform efforts led by the outgoing party caucus will be continued, Tsai said, ensuring a “systematic implementation of reforms,” increasing public representation in the Legislature and ensuring a quality bureaucracy, and a professional as well as efficient Legislature. According to Ruan, the DPP proposed five points in its policy platform for political reform during the presidential and legislative elections campaign. Among the five, legislative reforms include changes to the Legislature’s structure, electoral system and size, legislative authority and transparency, as well as the nomination of a neutral speaker.

DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming, a prospective speakership candidate according to DPP members and local media, reiterated his respect for the president-elect’s decision, as well as the discussion among party members, in response to media rumors of a possible unofficial vote to decide on the party’s candidates for speaker and deputy speaker. “If a consensus cannot be reached, an unofficial vote will be held,” Ker said, though he emphasized that party unity was more important than the voting method.