Tue, Sep 27, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Legislative camps to mobilize for standoff today

REFUSING TO BUDGE With two pan-blue bills set to be voted on later today, the pan-green camp said it would block both measures unless flexibility is shown

BY KO SHU-LING  /  STAFF REPORTER

The stage was set for a legislative showdown today as the pan-green camp yesterday vowed to block the pan-blue camp's proposed national communications commission (NCC) bill and "cross-strait peace advancement" bill. The blues are set to put both measures to a vote today.

Both camps were to issue mobilization orders asking all caucus members to attend today's plenary legislative session.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip William Lai (賴清德) criticized the pan-blue camp for taking advantage of their legislative majority to pass controversial bills as part of their attempt to seize back as much power as possible after their defeat in last year's presidential election.

"We find their behavior unacceptable and will do our best to frustrate their efforts today," he said.

The pan-green camp is mulling measures such as filibustering, sit-ins, walk-outs, reconsideration of the bills or requesting constitutional interpretations. Another possibility is to ask the Executive Yuan to file a veto request.

Lai, however, emphasized that the pan-green camp will be pinning their last hopes on another round of negotiations scheduled for this morning, hoping the pan-blue camp will show flexibility.

Lai made the remarks yesterday afternoon after a cross-party meeting broke down because both sides refused to budge.

While both camps agree that it is necessary to set up the NCC, they disagree on the composition of the body.

The pan-blue alliance of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP), which holds a slim majority in the legislature, has proposed that the NCC be comprised of members in proportion to the number of seats each party holds in the legislature.

The DPP and its tiny ally, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), insist that political parties should not be directly involved in the commission, and instead let experts and academics serve on an independent and professional body.

DPP Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), who also serves as the director of the DPP's Policy Committee, said that such a proportional system is unprecedented in other democracies.

"Let's not let the NCC become `DCC' [with `D' referring to dirty]," he said.

Another DPP caucus whip, Jao Yung-ching (趙永清), said that the opposition parties should dismiss the legislature if they insist on boycotting government bills and paralyzing legislative procedures.

Calling the pan-blue camp "irrational" and "barbaric," TSU caucus whip David Huang (黃適卓) criticized their proposed proportional NCC bill for "extending their parties' black hands" into the government's duties.

"We solemnly condemn such audacity and strongly oppose such a preposterous bill," he said.

Huang also criticized article two of the pan-blue camp's proposal, saying it serves the interests of China Television Co, the majority of whose shares are held by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-owned Hua Hsia Investment Holding Co.

He also painted article 19 as the "BCC [Broadcasting Corp of China] clause," which would allow media institutions to file a review after the proposed NCC is established if they think their rights have been violated.

Huang also called on the pan-blue camp to endorse an "anti-invasion peace" bill his caucus proposed, along with the PFP's proposed cross-strait peace advancement bill.

The peace advancement bill seeks to establish a framework for cross-strait negotiations and formalize the status quo with a cross-strait treaty.

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