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Central News Agency

2005-06-09 23:38:22

    Taipei, June 9 (CNA) President Chen Shui-bian expressed confidence Thursday in getting success in the second round of constitutional reforms.

    In a meeting with a group of ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators at the Taipei Guest House, Chen said the second round of reforms is aimed at increasing the government's efficiency, which he said is part of the government's efforts to improve the economy, according to William Lai, DPP legislative caucus whip, who was present in the meeting.

    Lai quoted Chen as saying that the constitutional reforms do not contradict the opposition camp demand that the government should focus its efforts on improving the economy.

    Many issues related to the people's livelihood will be involved in the second phase of revisions, particularly issues with regard to the interests of laborers, youth, women and aboriginal people, Chen went on.

    The reforms will be successful because they will forge a national consensus, the president claimed while rebutting concerns about a high threshold imposed by the now-defunct National Assembly for future constitutional amendments.

    According to the revised Constitution, future constitutional amendments will require a three-quarters majority vote by the Legislative Yuan and be endorsed by a referendum.

    Chen announced Tuesday the start of the second phase of constitutional reforms shortly after the National Assembly approved a package of constitutional amendments adopted by the Legislative Yuan last August.

    Referring to cross-Taiwan Strait relations, Chen said it is clear Taiwan should take its own path, given that Beijing still insists on its "one China" principle after Lien Chan, chairman of the main opposition Kuomintang, and James Soong, chairman of the People First Party, visited China last month and claimed there are different interpretations of "one China" by the two sides of the strait -- the so-called "1992 consensus." "There is no consensus," Chen reiterated.

(By Huang Kwang-chun)


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