Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday said that the Legislative Yuan has heard the students’ demands and that he would use all possible channels to seek a solution and respond to their appeals.
Wang issued a statement last night calling on the students who have been occupying the legislative chamber since Tuesday evening in protest against the controversial cross-strait service trade agreement to remain calm, exercise self-control and take care of their well-being as well as the public property inside the Legislative Yuan.
“These are items paid for by taxpayers’ money and we hope the Legislative Yuan can resume its normal proceedings soon and find a solution through democratic means,” the statement said.
Earlier yesterday, Wang ruled out calling in law enforcement officers to remove the students from the chamber.
“For now, I am only thinking of the students’ safety and am not considering having them removed by force,” Wang said in response to reporters’ questions.
Having students occupy the legislative chamber is not a question of legislative autonomy, but of social order, Wang said.
It is not that the police have no right to intervene in the protest because it is taking place in the legislature, but the top concern for now is the students’ safety, he added.
Wang has not been to his office in the legislative building since the students stormed and occupied the chamber on Tuesday.
Security has been tightened in front of Wang’s office.
Police have also set up barricades on Jinan Road and Zhenjiang Street, both of which lead to the legislative building.
Only lawmakers and members of the press with legislative passes are allowed to enter the building.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Office said last night that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) would exercise his right of mediation in accordance with Article 44 of the Constitution by summoning Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), Wang and Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) this morning to talk about the Legislative Yuan resuming its duties.
Article 44 states: “The President, if not restricted by other articles in the Constitution, may summon the presidents of the five yuan to mediate a solution to inter-yuan disputes.”