Sat, May 10, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Chaos erupts in legislative assembly

CROSSED SWORDS The row broke out between the pan-blue and pan-green camps over a TSU request that a number of proposed bills be immediately reviewed

By Fiona Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

A few TSU legislators yesterday staged a protest at the Legislative Yuan after the KMT and the PFP blocked several controversial draft bills -- including a referendum law -- proposed by the TSU.

PHOTO: LIU HSIN-TEH, TAIPEI TIMES

Ruling and opposition lawmakers crossed swords in the legislative assembly yesterday, only one week after the legislature rushed to complete the special regulation stipulating relief and prevention measures against the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic.

The legislative assembly set its agenda yesterday for discussing a number of bills that the TSU legislative caucus demanded to be reconsidered.

The TSU requested a review because it felt that pan-blue lawmakers had technically manipulated procedure and boycotted draft bills proposed by pan-green legislators.

The legislative assembly, however, lapsed into chaos as legislators ran afoul of each other for deferring the legislative agenda.

"The pan-blue members have collaborated to boycott draft bills dealing with people's livelihoods by using their advantaged seats in the Procedure Committee. They tried everything to block proposals made by pan-green members," said TSU legislative caucus convener Chien Lin Whei-jun (錢林慧君).

Chien Lin reminded her opposition colleagues that "they must carry out their legislative power in accordance with voters' expectations."

The opposition parties said they blocked bills proposed by the TSU as these bills were "either immature or extremely arguable."

"The pan-blue alliance halted these proposals because bills such as plebiscite law or amendment to the election and the recall law for president and vice president are irrelevant to citizens' livelihood and could hurt the country's constitutional structure," said Chiu Yi (邱毅), a PFP legislative caucus whip.

The assembly impasse was finally solved by forced voting and most of the TSU proposed that to-be-reconsidered bills be put forward in accordance with the legislative review procedure.

The DPP legislative caucus voiced its backing of the TSU later yesterday, as Chiu Chui-chen (邱垂貞) censured the pan-blue members' behavior as a "stumbling block for the country's hope of comprehensive reform."

"The full-scale mobilization issued by the opposition legislative caucuses impeded most draft bills presented by the ruling party and the Executive Yuan, which make us feel sorry that the past week's collaboration on the disease prevention bill was so short-lived," he said.

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