The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus easily outvoted the opposition to push its proposed agenda, which includes the controversial cross-strait service trade agreement and the proposed free economic pilot zones, for the three-week legislative extraordinary session that started yesterday.
The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) agenda, which included lowering the voting age and requiring Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) to report to the legislature about the Taoyuan County affordable housing scandal, lost to the KMT’s majority.
The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) also tried to block the KMT’s proposal, with party representatives staging a protest outside the front gates of the Legislative Yuan and lawmakers occupying the speaker’s podium before the meeting started.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
The TSU called into question the “urgency, exigency and necessity” for convening an extra legislative session, accusing the KMT of abusing the system by holding numerous special sessions since President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) took office in 2008.
Lee Cho-han (李卓翰), a TSU candidate for Taipei City councilor, who protested outside the legislature, said 10 extra sessions were convened during the 11 legislative plenary sessions over the past six years.
Inside the legislature, TSU lawmakers occupied the speaker’s podium, holding up a banner that says Ma is rushing the procedure to ensure China’s Taiwan Affairs Office Director Zhang Zhijun’s (張志軍) arrival at the end of the month. After about 20 minutes, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) persuaded them to leave the rostrum.
Topping the list of the KMT’s agenda is vetting the president’s nominees for the Control Yuan and the Examination Yuan.
Other legislation listed for discussion include a medical dispute resolution bill, amendments to the Pharmacist’s Act (藥師法), long-term care services and farmers’ pension.
The much-disputed cross-strait service trade pact, oversight mechanism for cross-strait agreements and the free economic pilot zones were also on the KMT’s agenda.
Responding to public concern about quick passage of the controversial bills, KMT caucus whip Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said it would be hard to railroad the oversight bill and the service trade pact during the extra session due to time constraints.
The legislature resolved in the afternoon that the first two weeks of the three-week session would focus on the holding of public hearings and legislative review of the nominees for the Examination Yuan and the Control Yuan.
That leaves only a week for all the other issues proposed by the KMT for the course of the extra session.
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
UPTICK IN NUMBERS: The Taipei deputy mayor said the city has services to assist new immigrants, but has established an office specifically to help those from Hong Kong The Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office today officially opens, where it is to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, after Beijing yesterday passed a controversial national security law for the territory. President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) expressed dismay over China’s passage of the law, saying that Beijing has broken its pledge to allow Hong Kong to maintain a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years following its handover from the UK. “I feel extremely disappointed [about the law’s passage], which means China did not keep its promise to Hong Kong,” Tsai said in Taipei. Beijing’s “broken promise” also
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
‘BASELESS ACCUSATIONS’: Ker Chien-ming said it was not possible to drop Chen Chu’s nomination, while KMT lawmakers accused their DPP rivals of ‘homicidal behavior’ The Legislative Yuan is to vote on President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nominations for the Control Yuan on July 17 after Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators regained access to the legislative chamber yesterday after it was occupied by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers for about 19 hours. The Legislative Yuan had been scheduled to meet yesterday morning to discuss its planned extraordinary session, but more than 20 KMT lawmakers on Sunday afternoon broke into the main chamber and occupied the legislative speaker’s podium to protest Tsai’s nomination of former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Chu (陳菊) to be Control Yuan president. The KMT caucus