Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday criticized the way President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has governed the country, saying that its “narrow-mindedness” and “intolerance” have slowed the progress of the country.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) heavyweight did not elaborate on his views, saying that he would rather not talk about the issue. However, he added that “it was a complete no-brainer finding several examples.”
Wang made the remarks in a question-and-answer session with senior civil servants at a conference after he made a speech.
In response to a question about interaction between the executive branch and the legislature, Wang said he has found it “repulsive” that the executive branch takes a narrow point of view and is not receptive to suggestions from outside its decisionmaking circles.
Wang cited the cross-strait service trade agreement, a follow-up to the 2010 Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with China, as an example.
In the face of a public outcry over the terms of trade under the cross-strait service trade agreement signed in June, the pact was still pending legislative ratification before it can take effect.
Wang said the executive branch was responsible for the situation.
The service trade agreement was supposed to be sent to the legislature for reference and not ratification, because it did not require changes to laws or the formulation of a new law to become effective, he said.
Because the government failed to communicate with the groups concerned and lawmakers before the signing of the agreement, and because it assumed that the agreement would take effect when both sides complete document exchanges, the issue became complicated, Wang said.
The main reason people do not believe the agreement will benefit the country, as the government has claimed, is that the government has failed to explain to the public the contents in detail, he added.
Wang said he had made it clear to the echelons of the executive branch that they “should not dictate to the legislature.”
“They do not have the authority and they are incapable of doing so,” he said.
Wang said it took him two days to find a solution for getting the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to agree to vote on the ECFA, when the legislature got stuck on it due to the DPP’s boycott of a vote, but the plan was almost derailed by the executive branch.
The impasse was broken only after discussions with DPP caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) was first rejected by the then-KMT caucus whip Lin Yi-shih (林益世), on behalf of the executive branch, before it was finally accepted, Wang said.
If the service trade agreement is to be ratified by the legislature, “the ruling and the opposition party needed to sit down and talk” to move forward, Wang said.