Sun, Oct 15, 2006 - Page 1 News List

Chen backs Lu on need for detente

NORMALIZING THE LEGISLATURE A Presidential Office spokesman said that the stock market surge following the failure of the recall motion shows the public wants stability

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday agreed with the vice president that both the governing and opposition parties must explore ways to facilitate inter-party negotiations so that the legislature can operate more smoothly and normally.

"It is detrimental to the nation's development when there are so many bills blocked in the legislature and the government is in an idle spin," Presidential Office Deputy Secretary-General Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) said.

Liu made the comment after Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) yesterday morning urged Chen to call for cross-party talks in order to resolve the current political gridlock.

Lu said she wrote a letter to Chen on Friday suggesting he invite party leaders to negotiate solutions to the current political impasse so that things could return to normal as soon as possible.

Liu said Chen shared the same thinking as Lu but did not commit himself to convening talks.

When asked whether Chen was planning to meet with Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), Liu said Chen would be happy to help those bills affecting people's livelihoods to pass the legislature.

"Now that the second recall motion failed to pass the legislature, it is time to think about how to ensure social stability and further national and economic development," Liu said.

stocks up

Liu said that the surge in the stock market that followed the failure of the presidential recall motion on Friday signified that the public yearns for stability.

Lu yesterday also called on both the governing and opposition parties to yield and engage in rational debate to speed up the passage of "sunshine" bills and bills concerning ordinary people.

Lu made the appeal yesterday morning when addressing a conference called to discuss the establishment of a human rights committee. The conference was hosted by the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy and the Taiwanese Society of International Law.

Lu, who formerly chaired the now disbanded Human Rights Advisory Committee under the Presidential Office, urged the legislature to pass the bills regulating the organization of the rights committee and the formal powers of committee members.

The two bills have been stalled on the legislative floor since 2002.

Lu added that legislation enacted during the martial law era should also be amended.

She also hoped to see the government promote human rights throughout civil society.

Commenting on the anti-Chen demonstrations, Lu said that she looked at the campaign with ambivalence because the protesters were exercising their freedom of speech but did not seem to appreciate this right.

Lu was sentenced to a 12-year prison term by a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration on charges of sedition for a 20-minute speech on human rights she made in December 1979 in Kaohsiung, in what later became known as the "Kaohsiung Incident."

She served nearly five-and-a-half years in jail.

torment

Lu said Chen had suffered all kinds of torment over the past two months but did not order any government agencies to persecute demonstrators because he himself had been a victim of persecution under KMT rule.

The government was duty bound to ensure fundamental human rights, Lu said, and the public should wait for the completion of the judicial inquiry into corruption allegations involving Chen's family and close aides.

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