After days of haggling, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus yesterday finally changed its mind and agreed to let Premier Frank Hsieh (
The caucus, however, plans to push through a proposition at the pan-blue dominated Procedural Committee today to "firmly condemn" Hsieh in lieu of a public apology for what they termed his "dubious" role in the mass rapid transit (MRT) system construction project of Kaohsiung City, where Hsieh was formerly mayor.
KMT Legislator Tseng Yung-chuan (
"We have raised the profile of Kaohsiung's MRT incident and the establishment of five commissions of inquiry," Tseng said. "We will let the premier deliver his policy report [Tuesday] and grill him during the question-and-answer session."
People First Party (PFP) caucus whip Sun Ta-chien (
The pan-blue caucuses have arranged for PFP lawmakers Wu Ching-chih (
The KMT's decision yesterday afternoon came as a surprise because two rounds of cross-party negotiations held yesterday failed to resolve the problem.
During the morning talks, Tseng complained that the DPP caucus lacked "sincerity" by sending two "lower-level" representatives to attend the inter-party meeting.
Tseng said that they would prefer to talk to DPP Legislator Ker Chien-ming (
DPP caucus whips William Lai (
Both Ker and Jao claimed that they were not aware of the meeting and were not notified of it until yesterday morning.
Wang dismissed their claim, saying that Ker had telephoned him on Friday to confirm yesterday's meeting.
"Did he get drunk again or something?" Wang said.
Upset by the absence of Ker and Jao, Tseng and KMT caucus whip Cho Po-yuan (
KMT caucus whip Pan Wei-kang (
But, after an hour-long closed-door meeting, the KMT and PFP caucuses announced that they would let Hsieh take the podium.
The KMT's change of heart is believed to have been influenced by suggestions from KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (
In related news, the DPP caucus whips last night held a meeting with Cabinet officials discussing priority bills to be passed in this legislative session.
The DPP caucus said that it will propose DPP's version of party asset bill next week although the Cabinet won't have a government version.
As for the bill regulating the composition of the National Communications Committee (NCC), the DPP said it will be put to a vote on Sept. 27 and the government will not agree on the KMT's suggestion that the committee be portioned out according to the seats of each party's legislators.