Wed, May 15, 2002 - Page 2 News List

TSU lawmakers to make Chen pay for his aide's absence

OFFENDED The party is demanding that the president give a state-of-the-nation address at the legislature because a presidential aide did not show up for a meeting with its legislative caucus

By Lin Mei-chun  /  STAFF REPORTER

TSU lawmakers yesterday yet again proposed that the legislature should demand that Pre-sident Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) must deliver a state-of-the nation report at the legislature. The lawmakers suggested that he should make the address on May 20, the two-year anniversary of his inauguration.

Two-and-half months ago, the party was compelled to put aside the idea because of the DPP's opposition. The DPP was against the initiative because it feared that Chen would be insulted by opposition lawmakers during his speech.

The president, however, has expressed his willingness to give the speech because he sees it as a good chance to advocate his ideas.

The motion was raised again yesterday because the TSU was infuriated by the fact that Secretary-General to the President Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟) had failed to be present at a meeting with the TSU legislative caucus.

The TSU invited Chen Shih-meng to join a discussion yesterday on whether the National Unification Council (國統會) and the National Unification Guidelines (國統綱領) should be abolished.

After waiting a while, the 13 TSU lawmakers had to settle for Liu Chen-shiang (劉貞祥), the chief coordinator from the Pre-sidential Office to the legislature, who was the only representative of the Presidential Office who made it to the conference room.

Chen Shih-meng declined the invitation, saying that he had to accompany the president to some other function.

"Presidential officials have looked down upon [the TSU]," said TSU lawmaker Su Ying-kwei (蘇盈貴).

The lawmakers said that, given the fact that the secretary-general to the president doesn't like to come to the legislature, we'd like to see the president come here in person.

Su said he had terminated his motion last time because he had taken the DPP's concerns into consideration, but now that the DPP has shown no respect to them, there is no reason for them to keep compromising.

"The anniversary of the president's inauguration is a good time for him to advocate his policies and to explain his future plans to the public," Su said.

Presidential officials later said they consider it more appropriate to set up a system that would clarify under which circumstances the secretary-general to the president should attend legislative meetings.

They said it is improper for Chen Shih-meng to attend the caucus meetings of certain political parties. They added that the official had never joined any meetings with the DPP legislative caucus.

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