Wed, Dec 15, 2004 - Page 3 News List

DPP and PFP flirting on bill undone by loose lips


Post-election politicking has become even stranger as the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the People First Party (PFP) flirt with one another and the PFP and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) struggle over a number of issues, including who will receive blue-camp support in the race for legislative speaker.

The DPP-PFP dalliance was confirmed yesterday but ended in failure, for now. The draft Disposition of Assets Improperly Obtained by Political Parties bill, which the DPP caucus earlier claimed had received PFP caucus support, again failed to pass the Procedure Committee.

According to sources in the DPP and PFP caucuses, the parties had reached agreement to have the draft law approved by the Procedure Committee for consideration by legislative committees.

Were it not for a verbal slip by DPP caucus whip Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅), however, it was highly likely the law would have passed and sent to relevant committees for review, possibly then gaining support from PFP legislators on the floor of the legislature.

"The PFP caucus is seeking to work with the DPP caucus on the bill," Lee had said. "The PFP originally supported the law, but since it had agreed to cooperate with the KMT, it could not support the legislation. But now the KMT-PFP alliance has come to an end, and the PFP wants to walk its own way, so it may want to start afresh from here."

But Lee had spoken too soon.

After the slip was broadcast on TV, the KMT caucus began applying pressure on the PFP caucus prior to the committee hearing. The PFP caucus then decided to change its mind and block the bill's passage in the committee.

But the story may not end there. The PFP yesterday said that as soon as the word "improperly" was removed from the title of the draft, it would be willing to support the bill.

"Party assets are not only a burden for the KMT, but also one which the PFP cannot put aside," PFP caucus whip Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) said.

"The PFP caucus will support the passage of the draft law from the Procedure Committee if the DPP is willing to take `improperly' out of the title, since we should not adopt preconceived positions over it," Liu said.

In better news for the government, the legislature yesterday agreed for the special NT$500 billion budget for public infrastructure projects over the next five years to be delivered to legislative committees for review, after the legislature heard a report from Premier Yu Shyi-kun.

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