Sat, Nov 15, 2008 - Page 1 News List

DPP hinders cross-strait pacts

WRANGLING The DPP and KMT agreed to send the agreements back to the Procedure Committee, while the government said the four deals don’t need lawmakers’ approval

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) caucus blocked the four new cross-strait agreements between the Straits Exchange Foundation and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait from clearing the legislative floor yesterday, sending them back to the Procedure Committee for rescheduling.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Lin Yi-shih (林益世), however, said the four agreements would automatically take effect if they were stalled in the legislature for 30 days.

The law provides for passage of recent agreements between the executive and Chinese representatives if, having received the bills for its consideration, the legislature passes them or takes no action.

DPP whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said his party would not recognize such a result.

The four agreements on direct shipping and flights, mail services and food safety were put on yesterday’s agenda by the Procedure Committee, pending floor approval, to be referred to related committees.

The KMT, however, agreed to a motion by the DPP suggesting the agreements be returned to the Procedure Committee to reschedule their reviews.

“We [the KMT] consented to the motion of the DPP as a gesture to show our respect for the DPP. We won’t budge from the 30-day timeframe. When the time is up, the four agreements will be effective automatically,” Lin said.

The Executive Yuan and the DPP have been at odds over whether all or some of the four agreements need legislative approval before they take effect.

Saying that the legislature had the right to review all four agreements, Ker called on the Executive Yuan to send agreement-related amendments to the Commercial Port Act (商港法), the Statute Governing Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例), the Income Tax Law (所得稅法) and the Value-Added and Non Value-Added Business Tax Act (加值型與非加值型營業稅法) to the legislature for deliberation.

“We asked the Executive Yuan to send the related bills to the legislature by the next session to be deliberated along with the four agreements,” Ker said.

The Executive Yuan says the Act Governing Relations between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area only requires it to send the pacts on shipping and flights to the legislature for ratification, while the other two agreements would be sent for lawmakers’ reference.

The government also argues that the contents of the four deals do not require amendment to current laws and regulations, a position not shared by all KMT lawmakers.

Lin said the Executive Yuan would determine whether the implementation of the four agreements required any revisions to current laws once the legislative procedure was complete.

In related news, an amendment to the Assembly and Parade Law (集會遊行法) was referred to the Internal Administration Committee for preliminary review.

The amendment would drop the requirement that rally or parade organizers obtain permission from police in advance of their event and require a simple registration procedure instead.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top