Mon, Feb 01, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Ninth legislature to vote on speaker

DUE DILIGENCE:Despite holding its first absolute majority in the Legislative Yuan, the DPP is to take steps to ensure that its candidates receive all 69 caucus votes

By Lin Liang-sheng  /  Staff reporter

The first non-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative speaker is to be elected today by the ninth legislature, which is scheduled to take office this morning, putting an end to outgoing Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng’s (王金平) 17-year tenure as speaker.

The Legislative Yuan is to open its doors to the 113 new legislators at 8am, when they are required to report for duty before being sworn in.

The new lawmakers are also to vote on the legislature’s new speaker in the morning and deputy speaker in the afternoon, who are to also be inaugurated today.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is to have a legislative majority, holding 68 of the 113 seats, followed by the KMT with 35 seats, the New Power Party with five and the People First Party (PFP) with three.

The remaining two seats are to be occupied by Non-Partisan Solidarity Union legislator May Chin (高金素梅) and independent lawmaker Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇).

According to the Organic Law of the Legislative Yuan (立法院組織法), any political party that holds more than three seats is allowed to form a caucus, meaning the new legislature is to consist of four caucuses, as Chin and Chao had previously expressed their intent to participate in the PFP’s and DPP’s caucuses respectively.

In the speakership election, the DPP has nominated legislator-elect Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) as its candidate, who is to compete against outgoing KMT caucus whip Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆).

The deputy speakership is to be contested by DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) and KMT legislator-elect William Tseng (曾銘宗).

As the DPP enjoys its first majority in the new legislature, the party’s Su-Tsai ticket is expected to win without any significant problems.

However, the DPP caucus yesterday said it is still diligently trying to make sure that each of its 69 members cast their ballots accordingly.

“Before the vote, the caucus is to meet and all members are to enter the legislative chamber together to cast their votes to ensure that we secure all 69 votes,” DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said. “We do not want any accidents.”

Meanwhile, Wang, the nation’s longest-serving legislative speaker, is to serve his fourth and likely last term as a KMT legislator-at-large.

For the post-Wang era, the DPP has announced a plan to push for legislative reforms and the passage of a number of major draft bills, such as the draft presidential transition act and the draft political party act.

KMT deputy caucus whip Lin Te-fu (林德福) said the KMT caucus would continue to propose policies of interest to the nation and its people before president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) takes office on May 20.

Additional reporting by Loa Iok-sin

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