Tue, Jun 12, 2001 - Page 1 News List

Opposition agrees to extra legislative session

POLITICAL DEAL Leaders of the opposition parties said they would agree to a special legislative session being held to take up financial reform after the president makes a request for one

By Stephanie Low  /  STAFF REPORTER

Tseng Yung-chuan, left, the KMT's former caucus whip, discusses the possibility of a special legislative session with the New Party's Levi Ying, center and Liu Wen-hsiung of the People First Party at the Legislative Yuan yesterday.

PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Leaders of opposition legislative caucuses agreed yesterday to a special legislative session being held to review financial bills seen as key to the nation's financial reform.

The legislation, which has been proposed by the Cabinet, failed to pass before the closure of the legislative session last Wednesday.

But lawmakers representing the KMT, People First Party and New Party said yesterday that the session could only be held -- for constitutional reasons -- after President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) requests one.

"The bills to be considered in the provisional session have to be urgent and important ones," said Cheng Yung-chin (鄭永金), whip of the KMT legislative caucus.

Chen said yesterday he respects the decision of the legislature and would do his part to make the special session possible.

The dates of the provisional session are expected to be decided in negotiations between the ruling and opposition parties.

The bills targeted by the Cabinet include the enactment of the Financial Holding Company Law, the Statute for the Establishment and Management of the Financial Reconstruction Fund, the Securities and Finance Management Law and amendments to the Business Tax Law, the Insurance Law and laws regarding deposit insurance.

During a visit to Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) on Thursday, Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) expressed his wish that lawmakers could pass the bills early by holding a special session, rather than waiting until the next session which is set to open on Sept. 18.

According to the Constitution, in addition to being held at the request of the president, a provisional session can also be held if initiated by lawmakers with the endorsement of at least a quarter of the legislative body.

Also on Thursday, Chen promised he would issue an official statement asking for a provisional legislature session, if the legislature considered this a more proper method to handle the matter.

Wang, who has always believed the session should be held at the request of the president, reiterated yesterday that the legislature must take a cautious attitude on the issue.

"Unless there are major national affairs to consider, the legislature will lack the legitimacy to hold a provisional session," Wang said.

Opposition lawmakers, meanwhile, said Chang should explain to the public the importance and urgency of the bills before the special session is held.

In addition, the Cabinet should put forth a complete list of its urgent bills that are to be considered in the upcoming provisional session, if there are other ones in addition to the six aforementioned bills, the lawmakers said.

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