Fri, May 12, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Bill makes progress amid confrontation

FLOUR AND WATER:DPP lawmakers surrounded the rostrum to block their KMT opponents, with Chung Kung-chao and Sufin Siluko seen pushing each other

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Lawmakers struggle for control of the speaker’s podium at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday during a meeting to review a draft of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program.

Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times

Review of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program proposal yesterday made progress at a meeting of the legislature’s Economics Committee in Taipei, despite chaos as Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers clashed.

DPP lawmakers provided cover for a legislative official who recited the first six articles of the draft, with KMT lawmakers trying to stop him.

DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬), the convener of yesterday’s meeting — the fifth to review the proposal — ruled that the six articles were to be sent to negotiations.

“As the ruling and opposition parties disagree on the seventh article, the committee is to arrange another meeting to complete the review,” Gao said before adjourning the meeting at 5:30pm.

The seventh article states that the government is to allocate NT$880 billion (US$29.12 billion) for infrastructure projects over the next eight years.

However, the KMT reiterated that the budget should be revised to NT$500 billion over four years.

The KMT stalled the review at four previous committee meetings, so the DPP was determined to make a breakthrough yesterday.

The DPP caucus at 6:30am asked that all DPP lawmakers attend the Economics Committee meeting, while the KMT called on all of its lawmakers to suspend their schedules to join the meeting.

Paramedics were also asked to stand by in case of a medical emergency.

Before the meeting started at 9am, more than 30 DPP lawmakers surrounded Gao and the legislative official, leaving no room for KMT members to approach the rostrum.

While the official was reciting the first article, KMT caucus whip Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) and DPP Legislator Chung Kung-chao (鍾孔炤) pushed each other.

DPP Legislator Chen Ying (陳瑩) chased and hit Sufin after Sufin threw flour and water over the crowd.

Gao announced a break at 9:20am before resuming the meeting at 3:08pm.

New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) criticized both the DPP and the KMT.

“All you [KMT lawmakers] do is blow whistles and yell meaningless slogans,” Huang said.

“It seems as if the KMT is helping the DPP approve the budget without allowing an examination of it,” he said.

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