Sat, Feb 02, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Wang re-elected as legislative speaker

FAMILIAR LEGISLATIVE LOOK Following his inauguration, Wang Jin-pyng promised to establish a clean legislature by pushing more amendments to the 'sunshine bills'

By Flora Wang and Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday easily won re-election as speaker of the legislature after gaining the full support of the KMT, the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union (NPSU) and the People First Party (PFP).

Wang, a three-term legislator, received 85 votes from the 112 legislators present during yesterday's plenary session, including 80 from the KMT, three from the NPSU, one from the PFP and one from an independent legislator.

Former KMT caucus whip Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) secured 84 votes, winning the election for deputy speaker.

One anonymous pan-blue camp legislator voted for Wang in the deputy speaker election.

Wang and Tseng failed to win any votes from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus. The 27 DPP legislators all voted for the DPP speaker candidate Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) and deputy speaker candidate Wong Chin-chu (翁金珠).

The DPP caucus proposed a last-minute nomination list on Thursday night, entering Chai and Wong in yesterday's elections.

After his inauguration yesterday afternoon, Wang vowed to establish a clean legislature by pushing more amendments to "sunshine bills."

He added that he hoped to make legislative sessions more "transparent," meaning he would hold fewer closed door cross-party negotiation sessions and make the congressional video-on-demand system available to the public.

The system records all open committee meetings and plenary sessions, but at present it can only be accessed from the network within the legislature.

Wang said he hoped to push through an act that would entrust the legislature with investigative powers.

He added that he would exercise his authority to allow legislative police officers to remove legislators who obstruct plenary sessions.

Earlier yesterday at the KMT caucus breakfast, KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) urged KMT legislators to perform well in the new legislature.

In related news, the DPP announced yesterday that legislative caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) would remain in his position. Ker will be joined by new legislative caucus whips William Lai (賴清德) and Yeh Yi-chin (葉宜津).

"Boycotting will not be the strategy of the DPP legislative caucus," Ker said. "The caucus will basically follow orders from DPP headquarters and presidential candidate Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) when deciding our policies."

DPP legislator Kuo Wen-cheng (郭玟成) said that as the party has only 27 seats in the legislature there is no room for intraparty politics.

"We must stand together at all times or the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] will take control and we will not be able to fight back," he said.

"[The results of the elections for the legislative speaker and vice speaker] show that nobody ignored the caucus' will. It proved the DPP is prepared to unite. I appreciate that," Chai said.

Meanwhile, during a separate press conference at the legislative caucus office yesterday afternoon, Lai blasted the KMT's Lu Chia-chen (盧嘉辰) for delaying his legislative registration.

KMT Legislator-elect Lu, who is the incumbent Tucheng Mayor, was absent yesterday as he has decided to postpone registering for a month.

By law, if a mayor cannot finish more than half of his four-year term, a by-election for a new mayor must be held immediately. Lu needs to serve one more month to ensure no by-election will take place.

"It is easy for us to tell how selfish the KMT is," Lai said. "The KMT is the majority in the legislature but it seems that KMT members have no respect for the Constitution."

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