Legislators blast Cabinet ‘infighting’

SLOPPY?:A TSU lawmaker said the premier’s opposition to an amendment to the Land Administration Agent Act was aimed at making the legislature look unprofessional

By Tseng Wei-chen and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Tue, Jan 21, 2014 - Page 1

The Executive Yuan’s decision to appeal an amendment to the Land Administration Agent Act (地政士法) is the result of “infighting” between Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and Minister of the Interior Lee Hung-yuan (李鴻源) that has spilled over to the Legislative Yuan, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators said yesterday.

If the Executive Yuan had any doubts about the amendment, which cleared the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee on Dec. 4 last year, it should have made them known before the legislature passed the amendment on Jan. 3, the DPP said.

The amendment provided a grace period for land administration agents who failed to report the actual price of a real-estate transaction within 30 days of the transaction before fines are imposed on them.

DPP caucus secretary-general Wu Ping-rui (吳秉叡) said that it was the first time the Executive Yuan requested that an amendment that had been unanimously passed by the legislature be repealed, adding that Jiang should not use repeals so frivolously.

Neither the Executive Yuan nor the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus objected to the amendment when it was under deliberation, DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) said.

Jiang is trying to use the amendment as an excuse to hide from the inefficient registry system for actual prices of real estate introduced during his time as minister of the interior, which pushed housing prices to an all-time high, Yeh said.

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) convener Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) said that Jiang has found something to repeal every year, adding that his choice to repeal the amendment to the Land Administration Agent Act showed that he was trying to manipulate politics and make the Legislative Yuan look “unprofessional and sloppy.”

Hsu said Jiang’s move was in part due to his unhapiness with Lee’s performance.

KMT Legislator Lin Tsang-min (林滄敏) said that the purpose of the amendment was to have the same standard for both buyers and land administrative agents.

The Executive Yuan made a mistake, but now wants to repeal something that has already been passed unanimously in the legislature, he said.

“Legislators do not owe the Executive Yuan any support,” Lin said.

KMT Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said that while the Executive Yuan has the right to repeal, lawmakers had thoroughly debated the bill before it was passed.

In response to the Executive Yuan’s request, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said he would call a negotiation meeting at 4pm today to discuss the dates and agenda of an extra session.

The legislature might call an informal meeting on Thursday to decide whether to have a possible extra session and the reconsideration request might be voted on at a plenary session on Friday at the earliest, Wang said.

Additional reporting by Su Fang-ho and Shih Hsiu-chuan