Thu, May 02, 2002 - Page 4 News List

Few results from peacemaker's lunch

By Stephanie Low  /  STAFF REPORTER

Acting as a peacemaker, Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday invited Premier Yu Shyi-kun and leaders of opposition legislative caucuses to lunch to try to break a week-long deadlock between the two sides.

But it is still uncertain as to when suspended inter-party negotiations will be reopened.

Wang said that, while the luncheon was intended to restore friendly relations between the administrative and legislative branches, some legislative caucuses would prefer to close the door to inter-party negotiations for the time being.

Wang said he will consult the caucuses within two weeks, after he has returned home from a Central and South American trip.

The KMT and PFP legislative caucuses have shut down all negotiations with the DPP over the past week to protest ranking government officials' failure to attend legislative sessions to answer legislators' inquiries. The opposition caucuses argued that the situation was a show of contempt by the administrative branch for the legislature.

The luncheon was arranged after the DPP visited Wang to seek his assistance in resolving the standoff.

Yu, who attended the luncheon in the company of Vice Premier Lin Hsin-yi (林信義) and Executive Yuan Secretary-General Lee Ying-yuan (李應元), asked the caucus leaders to speak their mind, because they had not had an opportunity to exchange views with them over the past three months.

Yu urged the legislative branch to seek consensus with the administration branch through negotiations so that the two branches could work hand in hand to push through major legislation to boost national development.

"Just like anything can be accomplished when there is peace in a family, everyone will prosper when there is peace in the country," Yu said.

Representatives of the KMT caucus, however, told reporters that the luncheon was rather "meaningless."

KMT caucus whip Lin Yi-shih (林益世) and Cheng Feng-shih (鄭逢時), deputy executive director of the KMT's Policy Committee, bought some snacks to eat after the event was over and said they were happier to eat by themselves.

Lin said the KMT has tried to keep peace between the ruling and opposition parties, and the DPP should take full responsibility for the recent deadlock.

Yu did not specify how the Executive Yuan was going to deal with the ongoing problem during yesterday's meeting, according to Lin.

Lin said the caucus will need to conduct further discussion as to when to restart negotiations with the DPP.

PFP caucus convener Diane Lee (李慶安), meanwhile, said the opposition caucuses have shown their goodwill by attending the luncheon, urging the Executive Yuan to respond positively to the opposition's goodwill.

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