Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Opposition boycotts Jiang’s address

LEGISLATIVE LOGJAM:Citing the premier’s alleged contempt of the legislature, DPP lawmakers and others demanded that he apologize to the Legislative Yuan

By Chris Wang and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporters

People First Party Legislator Thomas Lee (李桐豪) said his party agreed with the DPP on this issue.

“The Executive Yuan should not participate in political strife. Under the principle of legislative autonomy, Wang’s behavior should be handled by the legislature’s own disciplinary committee,” Lee said.

Various groups protested outside the legislature, with some demanding that Ma and Jiang step down, while others, wearing red shirts, criticized Wang and praised Ma as a “corruption-buster.”

Jiang’s policy address, which because of the boycott was submitted in writing to the legislature, made no mention of plans to put the continued construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), to a referendum, something the KMT had said would be one of its major policy initiatives this year.

The 18-page report highlighted the Executive Yuan’s focal points for the new legislative session, which runs through the end of this year.

Compared with Jiang’s last policy report to the legislature in March, when the proposed referendum on the power plant took up two pages, the referendum plan was conspicuously absent.

However, Executive Yuan spokesperson Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) said that the Executive Yuan’s policy to push for a referendum on the plant “remained unchanged.”

With a growing majority of the population voicing dissatisfaction with the issue and the delay-plagued plant, Jiang’s Cabinet has been struggling to force the referendum proposal through the legislature since the premier broached the idea soon after assuming his post in February.

The ongoing spat between Ma and Wang over the latter’s alleged use of improper influence in a legal case, which has sparked fears of a split in the KMT, further complicated the situation.

KMT Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華), who is close to Wang, recently decided to withdraw the referendum proposal he initiated, allegedly as a sign of unhappiness with Ma’s handling of Wang’s case, but Lee’s withdrawal was rejected by the KMT at a meeting of the legislature’s Procedure Committee.

“The proposed referendum was endorsed by the KMT at a caucus meeting and Lee does not have the right to just withdraw it without the KMT’s approval,” KMT caucus whip Lin Te-fu (林德福) said.

Lee said that his effort to withdraw the proposal had nothing to do with Wang, it was simply because the Executive Yuan would not be able to complete all the necessary safety tests to ensure the plant’s safe operation before a referendum is held.

“To be honest, I am afraid that the Executive Yuan will not be able to complete all the necessary safety tests before June next year,” he said.

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