Sat, Nov 07, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Negotiations on Ma report to legislature break down

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Solidarity Union Legislator Chou Ni-an, left, holds a poster yesterday at the legislature in Taipei to protest against the “lack of respect” President Ma Ying-jeou showed the legislature when he decided to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Singapore today.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

A cross-caucus negotiation over a proposal to have President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) report to the legislature after he returns from his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Singapore today broke down yesterday, with the party caucuses failing to reach a consensus on what is to be required of Ma.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus said it had proposed to have Ma present a “state of the nation address” in the legislature after he returns from Singapore.

The proposal, if sent to the Procedure Committee on Tuesday to be put on next Friday’s agenda for approval, could be passed in time for the president to report to the legislature the week after he returns, KMT caucus whip Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said.

Lai accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of faking its resolve to oversee the government if it balked at reaching a consensus for Ma to report to the legislature.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said the two major parties failed to agree on how the president would field the legislators’ questions.

While the KMT proposed the method of “issuing questions in advance and receiving a consolidated set of answers,” the DPP insisted that it should be a usual legislative question-and-answer session, which the KMT considered to be against the regulations.

The DPP caucus also asked for the legislature to pass a resolution to “ensure Taiwan’s dignity and national interest” are upheld at the meeting.

“The president should publicly denounce Beijing’s claim that the Ma-Xi meeting is an arrangement based on ‘one China’ principle,” the DPP caucus said. “Negotiation or signing of documents in any form, or issuing a joint press release or statement on political issues such as ‘the two sides belong to one China,’ ‘one China,’ the ‘one China framework,’ ‘one country, two governments,’ ‘one country, two regions,’ ‘military mutual trust mechanism,’ ‘peace treaty’ or ‘political relationship’ should not be allowed at the Ma-Xi meeting,” it added.

“Pursuant with the Constitution, which dictates that sovereignty belongs to the people, the DPP demands that head of state Ma Ying-jeou and government officials strictly adhere to the principles of transparency, no political presupposition and equal footing. They should not speak or behave in any way that would damage Taiwan’s dignity and national interest, or put Taiwan’s future in any restrictive framework. They have no right to make any promises [to China],” the DPP said.

No consensus was reached on the resolution.

DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said that the caucus is against the proposal to have Ma report to the legislature because “the legislature did not endorse a Ma-Xi meeting which was arranged with no transparency or prior notice, and only reported to the legislature as a fait accompli.”

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