Thu, Dec 15, 2005 - Page 3 News List

DPP government controls fate of arms bill, Ma says

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER, WITH CNA

The fate of the long-stalled US arms procurement bill hinges on decisions made by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration rather than on US opinions, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday.

"Decisions on the arms procurement bill are not made by the US. The bill is controlled by the administration," he said yesterday morning before presiding at the party's Central Standing Committee at KMT headquarters.

Ma made the remarks in response to media reports quoting sources in Washington as saying that the bill would be more likely to pass if the entire budget for the package was included in the Ministry of National Defense's regular annual budget, rather than financed by a special budget as proposed by the DPP government.

The bill was blocked by the pan-blue camp for the 41st time in the Legislative Yuan on Tuesday.

Asked whether the KMT would pass the bill if the costs of the purchase are shifted to the regular budget, Ma said "an annual budget bill should be acceptable to those who are against the current special budget bill."

Meanwhile, the KMT passed a measure to form an integrity and efficiency monitoring committee aimed at corruption inside the party. KMT spokeswoman Cheng Li-wen (鄭麗文) said the committee will include 11 members, and that party members can hold no more than five seats.

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