Tue, Oct 24, 2006 - Page 1 News List

KMT flip-flops, joins the PFP in blocking arms budget

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus would stand with the People First Party (PFP) on deferring a review of the long-delayed arms budget, the KMT said in a press release yesterday.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said last Thursday that the pan-blue camp had agreed to put the weapons budget on the legislative agenda for review today by the Procedure Committee.

The PFP's caucus whips, however, refused to sign a consensus document because they still opposed the arms deal.

The KMT statement said the party agreed with the PFP's view that the budget review should be delayed because reviewing the bill now would impose "unnecessary pressure" on Prosecutor Eric Chen (陳瑞仁) who is investigating the corruption allegations against President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus condemned its rival's flip-flop yesterday.

The pan-blue alliance should keep its promise by allowing several proposals initiated by the DPP to be screened, DPP whip Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) said. She said that the Executive Yuan had withdrawn its special arms purchase request and replaced it with an annual arms procurement budget in accordance with a petition from the pan-blues.

Yeh said she hoped that pan-blue legislators will put the arms purchase plan and other issues on Procedure Committee's agenda.

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