Students reveal details of grassroots meetings
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-08 07:42 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A series of grassroots conferences will try and reform Taiwan’s constitutional order, leaders of the Legislative Yuan occupation said Tuesday.

Holding a citizens’ constitutional conference was one of the key demands of the students who occupied the Legislature from March 18 and who are planning to leave April 10. The government last week announced a plan to hold a National Affairs Conference on trade and the economy in early June, but the protesters rejected the measure as too tailored to fit major business interests.

Student leader Lee Ken-cheng said Tuesday there was a plan to launch a series of what he described as ‘grassroots forums’ to find out the opinions of the rank-and-file. The results of those meetings would form the basis for a second stage, with ‘promotional forums’ determining basic strategies and outlines for the citizens’ constitutional conference, he said.

The student leader said the aim was to produce a consensus to amend laws and the constitution at a national constitutional conference before the 2016 presidential and legislative elections.

The consensus about changes inside the system would be reached at meetings outside the political system, but it would be binding for government departments and lead to major constitutional changes, Lee said. The reform would fix the elements which went wrong in Taiwan’s democratic system.

The conference participants would be members of the public, but it was not sure yet whether professional politicians would also be invited, according to reports. The meetings would be open and transparent, and all kinds of grassroots social movements would be welcome, Lee said.

The student leader said the meetings would be based on last weekend’s grassroots meetings outside the Legislative Yuan, where between 400 and 500 people represented public opinion and took back the power for the people after the political system failed in its duties.

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