Sat, Dec 18, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Squabble over future of 319 group

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan Solidarity Union legislators Chen Chien-ming, left, and Liao Pen-yen yesterday tell a press conference yesterday that Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng must step down to take the responsibility for the problems with the March 19 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee Statute.

PHOTO: LIAO CHEN-HUI, TAIPEI TIMES

An immediate amendment to the March 19 Shooting Truth Investiga-tion Special Committee Statute (三一九槍擊事件真相調查特別委員會條) appears unlikely after the legislative caucuses squabbled yesterday and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) caucus threatened seek the impeachment of Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).

The committee became a hot potato after the Council of Grand Justices on Wednesday declared the core articles in the statute to be unconstitutional. Some have urged the committee to shut down immediately due to lack of legitimacy.

To resolve the constitutional and legal problems surrounding the committee, Wang convened an inter-party negotiation yesterday, but nothing concrete happened.

"The caucuses agreed that for the statute to be amended, the People First Party [PFP] caucus should push its amended version so that we could discuss and handle it," Wang said after the meeting.

Premier Yu Shyi-kun said that he supported amending the statute when questioned by a lawmaker yesterday: "Since the committee is now defined as an ad hoc committee of the legislature, I support an amendment to modify the committee as necessary."

But the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus wants the statute to be invalidated and the oversight of such committees to be given to the legislature.

The caucus criticized Wang, labeling his handling of the legislative process "unfair."

"Even if the pan-blue camp wants to amend the statute, there is not enough time before the end of the session. I think the committee will die naturally in the end," DPP whip Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅) said.

Caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said Wang should not have convened yesterday's negotiating session because there wasn't anything concrete to discuss.

"How could Wang, in such a short time, convene a negotiation on a bill for which there is no concrete content, that has not even been delivered to relevant committees for review?" Ker said.

TSU caucus wasn't even interested in the idea of amending the statute. What it did want was an apology from Wang for allowing the statute to pass in the first place.

"The pan-blue camp, under Wang's leadership, passed the statute. Now that the statute has been found unconstitutional, Wang must take responsibility by resigning and giving up his bid for [speaker] re-election. If he doesn't, we'll file a motion to impeach him," said TSU caucus whip Chen Chien-ming

(陳建銘).

"The committee should cease operations immediately, or else the TSU will withdraw from the inter-party negotiations," Chen said.

Wang did not respond to the TSU's demand, saying only: "I won't make a comment on the TSU's statement, and the public can make a fair judgment of the situation."

Wang said that the constitutional interpretation made by the grand justices had bestowed upon the legislature certain rights to investigation and hearings.

Meanwhile, PFP caucus whip Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) was pessimistic about the statute being amended. Liu said there was not much that could be done about the statute and the committee since the grand justices had sided with the DPP administration.

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