Sat, Jul 12, 2003 - Page 1 News List

DPP says pan-blue strategy backfired

REFERENDUM LEGISLATION The party says the KMT-PFP alliance was forced to do another U-turn on plebiscites after a trap it had set for the DPP failed

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

The DPP said yesterday the deaths of the referendum bill and two key economic development bills in the extraordinary legislative session were a result of the blue camp's efforts to dent the government's administrative performance.

"The pan-blue camp's maneuvers in supporting the referendum bill have backfired. Having admitted its support for a referendum law amid high public demand, the opposition parties chickened out at the last minute," DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said yesterday in a press conference at the party's headquarters.

Only four of the six financial and economic bills were passed in the legislative session, which ended on Thursday.

Amendments to the Statute Governing the Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例), the Statute Regarding the Establishment and Management of the Financial Reconstruction Fund (金融重建基金設置及管理條例) and DPP Legislator Trong Chai's (蔡同榮) referendum bill were held over until the next session, slated to begin in September.

Commenting on the performance of the three-day special legislative session, Ker said, "I give it 60 marks out of 100. The results may not be satisfactory, but they will have to do."

The referendum bill, which sparked a fierce battle between the pan-blue and pan-green camps, was finally sacrificed when the blue camp suddenly withdrew its support for the legislation.

Another DPP legislative whip, Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), said yesterday the opposition alliance had done a complete about-face on the referendum legislation, revealing a scam in which they attempted to use the plebiscite issue to gain an edge in their presidential campaign.

"Their scheme backfired. At first, they claimed support for Chai's version of the referendum law -- which advocated a vote on Taiwan's future by choosing unification with China or independence -- because they presupposed the DPP wouldn't dare go for it," Chen said. "But when it turned out that we had decided to endorse Chai's plebiscite bill and signed the endorsement for a final reading, they pulled back.

"It revealed their tongue-in-cheek attitude toward the whole referendum issue," Chen said.

Chen said the blue camp didn't really mean to support Chai's bill because their intention was to veto the part of the bill relating to sovereignty issues, including any change of national flag or to the nation's name.

Despite the discord between the ruling and opposition lawmakers, the DPP yesterday said it recognized and appreciated the work of legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) of the KMT to fairly moderate the session's agenda.

"We give the highest recognition to Wang for efficiently moderating the cross-party negotiations and endeavoring to pass the four financial bills," Chen said.

The DPP blamed PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) for leading his party in blocking bills designed to resolve the bad loans of banking units and establish cross-strait air links.

"It's ridiculous that PFP Legislator Feng Ting-kuo (馮定國) opposed a permission system required for cross-strait direct air links. Such unreasonable opposition was made because the PFP couldn't allow the DPP to make any progress in cross-strait interaction," DPP Legislator Chen Chung-hsin (陳忠信) said yesterday.

The blue camp also boycotted the Statute Regarding the Establishment and Management of the Financial Reconstruction Fund (金融重建基金設置及管理條例), similar to the US Resolution Trust Corporation, designed to help banks with non-performing loans.

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