Mon, Jul 25, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Assets bill on agenda, NPP seeks passage by tomorrow

By William Hetherington  /  Staff writer, with CNA

The Legislative Yuan is to meet today to discuss a bill to deal with the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) ill-gotten assets, with New Power Party (NPP) legislators saying that they hope to see the bill passed by tomorrow.

The meeting is to follow up on Friday’s all-day discussions.

NPP lawmakers said at a committee review session that they had proposed their own version of the bill, but for the sake of consistency with regulations would fundamentally support the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) version, on the condition that it includes protections for whistle-blowers, compensation for victims and enticements for individuals to come forward with information.

The NPP also suggested renaming the bill to include organizations associated with a party within the proposed law’s scope.

NPP lawmakers said that as the KMT seems to be trying to delay the process by refusing to sign confirmation of the conclusions of any negotiations, the NPP caucus would not attend discussions of the bill should delays continue.

The NPP lawmakers said they received documents from the Internal Administration Committee regarding the negotiations, but as the documents were unsigned, they were unable to verify them.

Legislative Yuan Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉) later confirmed that the documents represented a “tacit understanding” and not an official agreement from the cross-party negotiations.

The NPP expressed disapproval of two of the clauses outlined in the documents, which would require all political parties to declare their assets within a year after the bill is promulgated.

They said the bill passed by the review committee should be submitted for final approval, adding that if any party motions to propose amendments, it should clearly explain its reasoning.

The NPP suggested that all political parties should discuss the general outline of the bill at a panel, with the DPP and the KMT each having five seats, while the NPP and the People First Party (PFP) would each have two seats.

In addition, NPP lawmakers said there should be another panel to discuss controversial clauses, with the DPP and KMT having three seats, and one seat each for the NPP and PFP.

Separately, former premier Yu Shyi-kun (游錫堃) said the NPP was entitled to disagree with the ruling party, of which he is a member.

“It is natural for different political parties to have differences, otherwise we should just merge,” Yu said.

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