Yu speech makes it past boycott

THEATRICS: In delaying a speech from the premier yesterday, opposition lawmakers showed they aren't ready to let go of conspiracy theories about the March 19 assassination attempt on President Chen

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Wed, Jun 02, 2004 - Page 1

Premier Yu Shyi-kun was finally allowed to present a statement on administrative policies yesterday afternoon after the pan-blue camp boycotted his report in the morning.

According to the Constitution and other laws, the premier is obligated to present a report on policies and the administration within two weeks of taking office.

All caucuses agreed on May 27 to invite Yu as the incumbent premier to present such a report, but pan-blue lawmakers declared two days ago they would boycott the report.

All caucuses issued top-level mobilization orders -- the pan-blue camp wanted to ensure the effect of the boycott was maximized, while the pan-green camp wanted to allow Yu to deliver his report as scheduled.

Yu was allowed to enter the legislature in the morning, but when it was time for his report, pan-blue legislators took out banners and signboards reading, "no truth, no president" and "We want truth; nothing but the truth," and shouted "no truth, no president."

People First Party (PFP) legislators wore T-shirts with painted red slits on the stomach to represent the wound from the "fake" shooting. The T-shirt contained the slogan "No justice, no president."

To counter the pan-blue camp's actions, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators took out posters bearing the slogan "illegitimate pan-blue legislators who are brave enough should return their salaries."

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislators, meanwhile, held up signs with the slogan "chaos in the legislature is the root of the chaos in Taiwan."

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) called for a five-minute break, which was extended to about 15 minutes. But things did not calm down and Wang had to call another break.

After the second recess, pan-blue legislators continued their antics. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) policy committee convener and caucus whip Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) led pan-blue lawmakers in saying, "we are withdrawing from the sitting in protest."

The KMT legislators then left the floor, while PFP legislators stayed on to continue their protest.

PFP Legislator Feng Ting-kuo (馮定國) motioned for a dismissal of the sitting, but Wang rejected the proposal saying the caucuses had already agreed to allow Yu to report.

With time for the morning's sitting running out, Wang called another recess.

Besides the protest on the floor of the legislature, there was a crowd demonstrating outside the building.

Yu finally gave his report in the afternoon.

The only interference came from PFP Legislator Sun Ta-chien (孫大千).

When Yu said, "If the first election victory was an accident, then the re-election is a historic certainty," Sun shouted from the floor, "rubbish!" Wang motioned for Yu to continue with his report.

Yu focused on four topics: building a sustainable Taiwan, caring for society and building a comprehensive social safety net, establishing a normal polity, and cherishing the fruit of democracy.

While KMT Legislator Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) addressed Yu as "premier," PFP legislators Chou Yi (邱毅) and Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) addressed him as "Mr. Yu," indicating the refusal of the PFP caucus to recognize his legitimacy.

In questioning Yu, pan-blue legislators focused on pushing their conspiracy theories on election fraud.

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