Sat, Jan 14, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Ma must stop legislature's abuse of power, Lu says

By Chiu Yu-Tzu and Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday that the opposition-dominated Legislative Yuan is jeopardizing the Constitutional powers of other government bodies.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has to do something to stop the legislature's abuse of power, she said.

The Legislative Yuan on Thursday turned down the part of the government budget allocated to the Presidential Office for special purposes. The legislature approved a proposal by the People First Party requesting the Presidential Office to dissolve its Constitutional Reform Office, the Presidential Office Youth Corps, the Presidential Human Rights Advisory Committee, the Presidential Advisory Council for Science and Technology, and two other taskforces responsible for the promotion of gender equality and the establishment of the National Human Rights Museum.

Lu, who is responsible for several committees and taskforces under the Presidential Office, told the Taipei Times yesterday that she is worried about the legislature's interference in other government bodies' activities.

"Opposition legislators are telling the Presidential Office what to do and what not to do. They are destroying the Constitution by abusing the legislative power, and that worries me a lot," Lu said.

Lu said that the Legislative Yuan has been interfering with the Control Yuan since last February by refusing to review the president's list of Control Yuan nominees.

As of press time last night, the Presidential Office had not yet released an official response to the Legislative Yuan's big cuts to the budget for this year.

Meanwhile, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Vice Chairman Liu Te-shun (劉德勳) said yesterday that the legislature's budget cuts will significantly affect the MAC's work in advancing cross-strait exchanges.

The legislature cut the council's budget by some NT$90 million (US$2.8million), accounting for 21 percent of the proposed MAC budget. Half of the remaining budget was temporarily frozen pending legislative approval.

Of the NT$90 million that was cut from the budget, about NT$36 million had been earmarked for the Chinese Development Fund, which was set to promote private cross-strait exchanges.

The rest, some NT$60 million, was part of the council's functional expenses.

"Cutting the whole budget of the Chinese Development Fund will lead to the suspension of many exchanges that are good for cross-strait relations. The fund subsidized 207 private events last year," Liu said.

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