Fri, Sep 16, 2005 - Page 3 News List

DPP to take the high road in legislature

POLITICAL FOXTROT Wang Jin-pyng has scheduled more negotiations this morning in an effort to reach a compromise so Premier Hsieh can deliver his report

BY KO SHU-LING  /  STAFF REPORTER

People First Party (PFP) Legislator Sun Ta-chien, left, and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Tseng Yung-chuan share a quiet moment at a joint press conference they called at the Legislative Yuan to demand that Premier Frank Hsieh apologize for the scandal surrounding Kaohsiung's mass rapid transit system.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday said they will "respond rationally" to the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) boycott in the legislature today, despite a threat by some DPP lawmakers to take a more aggressive approach.

"We will act rationally and let the people be the judge," DPP caucus whip Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) said. "However, we cannot control our lawmakers from getting angry if the opposition parties go too far and do something improper to Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷)."

DPP Legislator Chen Chi-yu (陳啟昱) said that it was possible that DPP lawmakers like himself will take countermeasures if the pan-blue alliance continues what he called their "irrational opposition" to the premier presenting his policy briefing.

The two Chens made the remarks in response to the pan-blue alliance's vow to resume their boycott of Hsieh's report today.

A multi-party conference called yesterday afternoon to iron out differences between the caucuses failed to resolve anything.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) promised to call another round of negotiations this morning to find a way for Hsieh to give his report, which he had been blocked from delivering on Tuesday.

The DPP caucus has asked all its members to attend a 7:50am breakfast meeting so it can form a consensus before the negotiations.

The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) caucus refused to attend yesterday's multi-party conference, saying that the pan-blue alliance is violating the Constitution by setting preconditions for the premier's report.

The TSU said it is the premier's constitutional right to brief the legislature and public, not any specific caucus, on the government performance and policy goals.

The KMT caucus yesterday demanded that Hsieh apologize for problems with the Kaohsiung's mass rapid transit (MRT) system.

It also pressed the DPP to establish five commissions of inquiry to probe what the KMT lawmakers called five "incidents of corruption."

Describing the demand as "unacceptable," DPP caucus whip William Lai (賴清德) said that his caucus would back the establishment of the five inquiries but the KMT must let Hsieh deliver his report first. He said the commissions' establishment could be negotiated afterwards.

DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬), secretary-general of the party's Justice Alliance faction, called on the pan-blue camp to support Hsieh if they do not wish to launch a vote of no-confidence in the premier.

Responding to a proposal by KMT Legislator Yu-sheng (吳育昇) that the majority party in the legislature should be entitled to appoint a new Cabinet, Gao said such an idea would make people think that KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) not only plans to annex the KMT, but wants to become the head of the legislature as well.

Gao cited a Decision-Making Research survey which found that about half of respondents favored both the idea of dismissing the legislature if a political stalemate reoccurs, and constitutional amendments to authorize the president to initiate a dismissal of the legislature.

People First Party (PFP) caucus whip Sun Ta-chien (孫大千) said that his caucus will side with the KMT again today.

He also dismissed reports that PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) had voiced doubt about the KMT's belligerent approach to Hsieh, out of concern that the tactic might create a negative image for the pan-blue camp.

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