Wed, Oct 05, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Wang empowered to keep order

LAW AND DISORDER After recent fights in the legislature, lawmakers from all parties agreed that the speaker should be authorized to call in security guards when necessary


Lawmakers across party lines yesterday agreed to authorize Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) to send in security officers to maintain order if a disturbance takes place on the legislative floor.

Wang promised to use the privilege carefully. He said that he would only call in security officers if the speaker's desk was occupied, and that he expected all lawmakers to exercise self-restraint to help safeguard order and the dignity of the legislature.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip William Lai (賴清德) said that the measure should be used cautiously and that lawmakers should not solely depend on security forces to safeguard the dignity of the legislature and the legislative speaker.

"Security forces should not serve the interest of the majority," he said. "I am calling on the pan-blue alliance to renounce the attitude they had during the Martial Law era -- that the use of force could settle everything."

Lai said that his caucus would not rule out mobilizing supporters to stage a protest outside the Legislative Yuan next Tuesday if the pan-blue camp once again used its numerical advantage in an attempt to pass controversial bills.

Next week's plenary legislative session will again tackle the organic bill of the proposed national communications commission (NCC) and the cross-strait peace advancement bill, which were successfully blocked by the DPP caucus last Tuesday.

The peace advancement bill will be discussed along with the anti-invasion peace bill proposed by the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) caucus.

Wang yesterday promised to call another round of cross-party negotiations before Tuesday in a bid to iron out differences between the pan-blue and pan-green camps.

Yesterday's meeting, which lasted for two hours, accomplished little, with caucus leaders failing to touch on the NCC bill and the peace advancement bill.

Commenting on the People First Party's (PFP) peace advancement bill, DPP Legislator Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), also director of the DPP's Policy Committee, said that it was a piece of "surrender" legislation and a bylaw of China's "Anti-Secession" Law.

Ker said that any controversial piece of legislation, such as the peace advancement bill, must seek opinion from all caucuses before calling a showdown vote.

"If the peace advancement bill unfortunately clears the legislature, they [the pan-blue camp] will have to pay a price," Ker said

In related developments, earlier yesterday morning during a question-and-answer session, Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) engaged in a heated debate with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator and former Kaohsiung City mayor Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) over the subway system in Kaohsiung and the construction of the high speed rail. Hsieh is also a former mayor of Kaohsiung.

Wu called Hsieh an "evil" lawyer, with Hsieh responding by calling Wu a "wicked" person, who "sees things through a wicked lens."

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