Wed, Sep 21, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Pan-blues nix arms package once more

NO. 29 AND COUNTING The Procedure Committee again shelved the bill, with one KMT member saying that debate of the arms package would incite conflict

BY KO SHU-LING  /  STAFF REPORTER

The legislature's pan-blue dominated Procedure Committee yesterday rejected the arms-procurement bill for the 29th time.

It voted 17-13 in favor of again shelving the arms-procurement package as well as President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) nominations for the Control Yuan and a political party assets bill.

But the committee did approve for debate a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) proposal to condemn Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) over problems with the MRT project in Kaohsiung City -- where he was previously mayor -- in lieu of a public apology.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Shen Fa-hui (沈發惠) criticized the pan-blue camp for "sabotaging national security" and going back on its word.

Shen said that the pan-blue camp should present a more concrete plan instead of continuing its opposition based on "political ideology and partisan interests."

People First Party Legislator Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said he did not think it a good idea to send the arms bill to the National Defense Committee for review because he feared there would be more conflict than debate.

KMT Legislator Shuai Hua-min (帥化民) yesterday dismissed a media report that his party was planning to approve the budget for 12 P-3C maritime patrol aircraft but continue to oppose the budget for three PAC-3 missile batteries.

Meanwhile, KMT Legislator Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), also executive director of the KMT's Central Policy Committee, proposed that a motion censuring the premier be debated next Tuesday.

His proposal received support from 17 of the 29 committee members, while the DPP caucus failed in its subsequent bid to shelve the motion, receiving backing from only 12 members.

DPP caucus whip William Lai (賴清德) said that the pan-blue caucuses had no honor with their victory because the vote was an unequal contest.

In a more positive development, the pan-blue camp agreed to place a bill for a proposed national communications commission on Tuesday's legislative agenda, where a showdown vote is expected to decide its fate.

also see story:

Editorial: Don't compromise on the NCC bill

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