Legislative caucuses yesterday traded barbs over the legislative speakership and the establishment of an investigative committee into the nation's violent and repressive past, proposed by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) two days ago.
The race for the speakership has heated up in the past week since Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Secretary-General Chang Chun-hsiung (
In a show of support for Wang, the pan-blue caucuses yesterday urged the DPP to stop its mudslinging campaign.
"The race for the speakership should be a competition between gentlemen, and the pan-green camp should not resort to mudslinging. How can someone who resorts to mudslinging lead the legislature?" Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Huang Teh-fu (黃德福) said.
People First Party lawmaker Lee Tung-hao (李桐豪) also pointed out that when Chang was a lawmaker, he assaulted former Legislative Speaker Liang Su-jung (梁肅戎).
"Chang would not execute the budget for the fourth nuclear plant after the legislature passed the budget, and now he is slinging mud at Wang. His actions won't help improve the legislature's image," Lee said.
But the DPP caucus backed up Chang's statements and continued to highlight Wang's role in "black gold" politics yesterday.
"As the Legislative Speaker, Wang Jin-pyng should certainly be held responsible for the mess the legislature is in. Chang did not say anything incorrect about Wang ... he was just hoping that after the pan-green camp wins majority seats in the legislature, he could push legislative reform ahead end `black gold' politics," DPP caucus whip Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said.
Tsai said that in the past the legislature had been dominated by the KMT, and all the past speakers should be held responsible for involvement in "black gold" politics and the political mess in the legislature.
"The DPP is focusing on the legislative reform. We are criticizing a phenomenon instead of a single person," Tsai said.
Meanwhile, the caucuses also disagreed on an investigation committee into Taiwan's bloody past proposed by Chen two days ago.
Chen said if the pan-green camp won a majority in the legislature, then an investigation committee would be established to probe the largely unresolved bloody crackdowns of old, such as the 228 Incident in 1947, the Kaohsiung Incident in 1979 and the repression that took place during the White Terror era.
The opposition camp yesterday questioned Chen's motives for the timing of announcing his proposal and demanded that the March 19 shooting incident should be thoroughly investigated.
"We support the government clearing up all unresolved cases. But Chen also said before that he would investigate the March 19 shooting incident, yet now he seems to have a selective memory," Huang said. PFP caucus whip Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) also said Chen's proposal was announced with the legislative elections in mind.
But the DPP caucus said that it was not about the election at all, and supported the idea to include the March 19 shooting incident into the investigations.
"We will establish a committee on the principles of not violating the administrative power nor the Constitution. This is not about the election since the majority of the public are interested in the truth behind these cases," Tsai said.