Wed, Dec 07, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Pan-blues block arms bill for 40th time

CNA , TAIPEI

Pan-blue legislators yesterday raise their arms to block the special arms procurement bill and a host of other major government bills at the legislature's Procedures Committee yesterday.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and People First Party (PFP) lawmakers blocked the special arms purchase bill and other major government bills at the legislature's Procedures Committee yesterday, triggering a call by a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator for the opposition to show some modesty.

DPP Legislator Kuan Pi-ling (管碧玲) said the pan-blue camp won 660,000 more votes last Saturday than in the previous election while the pan-green camp won 30,000 more.

This means that KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) got a better score in his "entrance exam" than President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in his "mid-term" test, but the difference was just 630,000 votes, and the winner should be a bit humbler, she said.

Humility, apparently, was not in the opposition's vocabulary, as pan-blue lawmakers continued to refuse Chen's nominations for the Control Yuan.

They also killed off a DPP proposal to invite the president to make a national security report to the legislature, knowing he would use the opportunity to lobby for the arms procurement bill.

Also blocked from being put on the legislative agenda were 20-some other DPP-proposed bills, including amendments to the Referendum Law (公投法), a statute on political parties' "ill-gotten" assets and compensations for victims and bereaved families involved in the Feb. 28 Incident.

Among the blocked bills was a Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) proposal that calls for the legislature to set up a "files-studying committee" to tackle party assets that had been obtained through dubious means.

What the DPP and KMT caucuses did agree to tackle on Friday's legislative session were amendments to the banking law concerning the excessively high interest rates on credit cards and the issue of many young people overusing their credit cards and becoming "slaves to credit cards."

Meanwhile, the KMT threatened to put to vote a bill regarding opening Taipei's Sungshan Airport to flights to Macau and Hong Kong if all parties fail to come up with an agreement on the issue after four months of negotiations.

Speaking at a news conference, KMT caucus whip Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) said his party will seek to force the bill through the legislature with a vote if an agreement cannot be reached on the issue in four months -- a grace period requested by the DPP and the TSU -- out of national security concerns.

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