The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus’ version of an anti-infiltration bill yesterday advanced to a second reading and discussion in additional cross-caucus negotiations.
Prior to yesterday’s legislative meeting, DPP caucus members were guarding the speaker’s podium to ensure that the caucus filed motions first.
The caucus sponsored a motion to advance the bill to a second reading, which was not met with any objections, as no Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators were present.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) then filed a motion to have the anti-infiltration bill returned to the legislature’s Procedure Committee for reconsideration — a practice frequently used by the caucus whip of the ruling party during the review of a major bill so that the caucus’ resolve to pass the bill can be reaffirmed.
Ker’s motion was voted down by other caucus members, as well as the three remaining New Power Party legislators — Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) and Jang Show-ling (鄭秀玲) — who apparently vetoed the motion to show support for the bill.
The bill advanced to a second reading without any objection, pending further deliberation during cross-caucus negotiations, which are to be arranged by the DPP caucus, Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) said.
On Monday, the DPP caucus unveiled the bill, which would subject those who disrupt the social order under the command or at the request of “infiltration sources” to a prison term of up to seven years or a fine of NT$5 million (US$163,865).
The 12-article draft prohibits anyone from donating to a political party, influencing elections, proposing the recall of a government official or launching a public referendum on the instructions or with the financial support of an infiltration source.
At a news conference at the Legislative Yuan, the KMT caucus — which had unanimously boycotted the legislative meeting — unveiled a bill against annexing the Republic of China (ROC), which it said was meant to replace the anti-infiltration bill.
KMT legislators decided not to vote on the DPP’s motion on a second reading to prevent the DPP from posting the voting results online and portraying the KMT as siding with Beijing on Chinese interference, KMT Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) said.
The anti-annexation bill says that no civil servant of the ROC may advocate actions that would sabotage the nation’s political system, or change its official title or territory.
They must not make remarks that advocate decimating, absorbing or replacing the ROC, the bill states.
Civil servants — including the president — found to have contravened the bill would face a prison term of up to seven years, it states.
The anti-annexation bill is a more comprehensive bill than the DPP’s, as it would not only bar attempts to unify Taiwan with China, but would also prohibit attempts to make Taiwan a US state or part of Japan, as these are all actions that would eliminate the ROC, KMT Legislator Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said.
The KMT caucus would demand that its bill be reviewed side-by-side with the DPP’s during cross-caucus negotiations, KMT caucus whip William Tseng (曾銘宗) said.
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