Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday accused an official at the legislature of impeding their efforts to obtain documents on at least four controversial issues, saying it constituted “handicapping” behavior within the legislature.
Legislative Yuan Deputy Secretary-General Chester Chou (周萬來) had refused to assist the operations of four document-request panels established by various legislative committees during the current session, DPP legislators Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬), Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) and Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀) told a press conference.
Gao threatened to suspend all party negotiations until Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) pledges the four panels could proceed smoothly.
The four panels were established to investigate crude oil procurement by CPC Corp, Taiwan (中油), coal procurement by Taiwan Power Co (台電), the alleged cover-up of an avian flu outbreak by the government and the construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant.
However, the panels’ proceedings had been stymied by Chou, who said document requests and the inclusion of non-legislative experts on the panels “is unprecedented and without legal basis” and “would cause trouble for the speaker,” Gao said.
Gao said a legislative document-request panel included private professionals in 2001 and that Chou was acting more “like an official in the executive branch who wants to cover up for the administration and not the legislature’s deputy secretary-general.”
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and its lawmakers had used three tactics to interfere with the panels, Lin said.
“First, they oppose the establishment of the panels. Second, they take advantage of their majority to block requests for documents. Third, government officials simply refuse to provide the documents,” he said.
Chou was not available for comment. A member of his staff said Chou had been in meetings all day.