Sun, Jan 07, 2018 - Page 1 News List

NPP continues hunger strike to stop amendment

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Hsu Yung-ming, second right, yesterday speaks outside the Presidential Office Building in Taipei as he and others surround a tent erected by NPP legislators to prevent police tearing it down.

Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

New Power Party (NPP) Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) and four other NPP legislators yesterday continued their hunger strike in front of the Presidential Office Building, demanding that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) retract a draft amendment to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), despite cold and rainy weather, pressure from police and no response from the president.

“Nothing has changed our minds,” Huang said, adding that they will continue to urge Tsai, who is also the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson, and the DPP to retract the amendment in a peaceful and rational manner.

There was intermittent rain throughout the day. Huang, NPP caucus convener Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) and NPP legislators Kawlo Iyun Pacidal, Hung Tsu-yung (洪慈庸) and Freddy Lim (林昶佐) all wore raincoats.

Behind them, the sentence “Retract the labor law amendment” was projected onto the Presidential Office Building.

The legislators arrived on Ketagalan Boulevard on Friday evening after their plan to stop the amendment by blocking access to the legislative chamber had failed.

Earlier yesterday, the legislators set up five tents with the help of party staffers, but four were soon removed by police.

At about 11am, Presidential Office Secretary-General Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) arrived at the site of the protest and urged the legislators to end their demonstration and return to the Legislative Yuan.

Huang and other legislators refused, saying that the DPP has been abusing its legislative majority, preventing the amendment from being properly reviewed.

Police repeatedly asked the legislators to leave on the grounds that they were violating the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例) and the Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法).

Demonstrations are restricted in the area, said Taipei City Police Department’s Zhongzheng First Precinct head Liao Tsai-chen (廖才楨). According to Article six of the Assemble and Parade Act, demonstrations near the Presidential Office are banned, unless approved by the Ministry of the Interior.

Police erected barriers along Hengyang Road (衡陽路), Gongyuan Road (公園路), Aiguo W Road (愛國西路) and Taiyuan Street (桃源街) to prevent more people from joining the protest.

As of press time last night, the hunger strike was still going on and the barricades were still in place.

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