Wed, Dec 29, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Party assets bill moves to legislative floor with PFP help

SAFE PASSAGE The pan-green camp scored a minor victory when the People First Party broke ranks with the KMT and sent the bill to a sitting

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

The political party assets bill finally cleared the Procedure Committee yesterday after People First Party (PFP) committee members refused to support a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) block on the bill.

But the news was not all good for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Its request to have the legislature review nominations for the Control Yuan was rejected once more.

DPP, PFP and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) versions of the bill governing the examination and disposal of party assets passed when PFP committee members effectively abandoned their votes when the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Tseng Yuan-chuan (曾永權) moved to reject the DPP and TSU versions.

Tseng's motion was opposed by the pan-green members, and the motion was voted on three times.

Without the help of the PFP committee members, however, the KMT could only manage 12 votes in favor of blocking the bill, which was not a majority.

The KMT caucus then asked for another vote, and two more rounds ended with a 12-12 tie.

The committee's chairman, PFP Legislator Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟), then announced that the DPP, TSU and PFP versions of the bill would proceed to a first reading in the legislature on Friday.

The Procedure Committee also sent a bill for the annual budget of the central government and the NT$500 billion (US$14.66 billion) Ten New Major Construction Projects package to a second reading on Friday.

But a DPP attempt to have Control Yuan nominations discussed on the legislature floor was rejected by both KMT and PFP caucuses.

"If the nominations cannot be passed on before Jan. 31, [President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁)] will be fully responsible for that because he has nominated candidates who are controversial and not acceptable to the public," KMT caucus whip Huang Teh-fu (黃德福) said.

Later in the day, Control Yuan presidential nominee Clement Chang (張建邦) visited Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).

Chang said he was paying a visit to an old friend, as the two had not met for some time.

"I am here to say `happy New Year' to the legislative speaker, and today's visit is in an unofficial capacity. I hope that the legislative speaker can arrange a time for all of the nominees to visit lawmakers in an official capacity," Chang said during the meeting.

The two met in Wang's office. The meeting took place in the presence of reporters and the two did speak in private.

"In the past, when nominees visited the legislature it was arranged by the Presidential Office, and the group would be led by the Presidential Office secretary-general," Wang said in response to a request from Chang.

"If the need arises, I will help arrange a time for a visit after the New Year holiday," Wang added.

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