Fri, Dec 23, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Budget talks canceled over NCC row

STALLED AGAIN The pan-blues boycotted the budget talks because they claimed that the government is delaying confirmation of the NCC committee members

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Cross-party talks to discuss the government's budget scheduled for yesterday afternoon were canceled because of a pan-blue-camp boycott, upset over the continued delay by the government in the establishment of the National Communications Commission (NCC).

"The administration's recent moves are clearly a political scheme staged at thwarting the establishment of the NCC so the Government Information Office (GIO) can continue to suppress media groups it deems unfriendly to the government, including TVBS," People First Party (PFP) caucus whip Hwang Yih-jiau (黃義交) said.

Hwang said that the pan-blue parties do not rule out the possibility of adopting more dramatic measures in future in retaliation for what he called the administration's manipulation of the media and obstruction of the setup of the NCC.

The pan-blue alliance had threatened to indefinitely boycott the negotiations for the government's budget if the Executive Yuan fails to send the list of nominees for the National Communications Commission (NCC) to the legislature for confirmation.

While the Executive Yuan was supposed to send the list of nominees recommended by the review panel on Sunday (Dec. 18), as of yesterday it had not yet done so.

The Executive Yuan said it would like the panel to select another candidate to replace Lu Chung-chin (呂忠津) before they send the list to the legislature for verification.

Lu, a professor from National Tsinghua University in Hsinchu, withdrew his name two days after he was recommended by the panel.

Under the Organic Law of the National Communications Commission (國家通訊傳播委員會組織法), the premier must nominate the 13 NCC members within seven days of the review committee presenting its recommendations. The panel made its recommendations on Dec. 11.

Claiming that the NCC law encroaches on the government's executive power, the Executive Yuan has said that it would seek a constitutional interpretation from the Council of Grand Justices on the legislation.

Hwang yesterday called on the Executive Yuan to immediately send the 12 recommended nominees to the legislature for confirmation because the law does not authorize the Executive Yuan to ask the review committee to fill the vacancy. Besides, the panel was dissolved after the screening was completed, he said.

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