Thu, Mar 16, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Invitation to Lu triggers uproar

MARCH 19 SHOOTING What happened during the assassination attempt and the ensuing police investigations was on the minds of many lawmakers

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Chao-hui, left, holds an invitation sent by People First Party Legislator Chang Hsien-yao in the name of the Home and Nations Committee chair to Vice President Annette Lu, inviting her to attend a committee meeting as a victim of the March 19, 2004, assassination attempt. Since the invitation was not formally sent by the committee, Lu is not obligated to attend. Huang is accompanied by DPP legislator Chen Chin-chun.

PHOTO: WANG MIN-WEI, TAIPEI TIMES

There were heated exchanges between People First Party (PFP) Legislator Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) and pan-green members of the Home and Nations Committee yesterday over Chang's insistence on having Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) attend a committee meeting as a victim of the March 19 shooting incident.

Chang sent an invitation to Lu's office yesterday in the name of the committee's chair, asking her to to attend today's committee meeting.

Since the invitation was not formally issued by the committee, Lu is not obligated to attend.

"According to regulations, as this week's chair of the committee, I had the right to decide the agenda of this week's meeting," Chang said.

He said he had not asked Lu to attend in her role as vice president to answer interpellations about the shooting but as a victim of the shooting incident, to hear her recount her experience.

However, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said Chang's conduct was unconstitutional.

"The Constitution's amendments state that the legislature can invite the president to give a state of the nation speech. The president is under no obligation to answer interpellations filed by legislators," Ker said.

"It is extremely absurd that Chang has made such a suggestion," Ker said.

DPP Legislator Huang Chao-hui (黃昭輝), Chang's co-chair this week, lambasted Chang, accusing him of "showing contempt for the law."

Yesterday's committee meeting was scheduled to review amendments to a law related to the police administration's welfare system. The dispute over Chang's invitation delayed the review all day.

Meanwhile, other opposition legislators raised questions yesterday about the events of March 19, 2004, and their aftermath.

Criminal Investigation Bureau Deputy Commissioner Lin Te-hua (林德華), in response to a question from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lai Shyi-bao (賴士葆), said the special task force investigating the shooting had looked into President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) telephone records during the period around the shooting as part of its investigation.

Lin, who was the convener of the official task force that looked into the shooting, was questioned during a meeting of the Budget and Final Accounts Committee.

"The 319 incident was simply a shooting incident, not a political one. It was not a conspiracy and the task force based its work on the material found during the investigation," Lin said in response to a question from KMT Legislator Lin Te-fu (林德福).

In related news, KMT Legislator Lee Chuan-chiao (李全教) told a press conference yesterday that the shooting had been arranged by the government.

"A man living in Tainan told me that he saw a vehicle belonging to the National Security Bureau driven into Chi Mei Medical Center on the morning of March 19, about 8:55am. The vehicle identification number was 6662," Lee said.

"If the shooting was not organized in advance, why was there a National Security Bureau vehicle in the Chi Mei Medical Center?" Lee said.

Citing a report in a Chinese-language weekly magazine, KMT Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) accused the police of intentionally excluding testimony favorable to the alleged shooter Chen Yi-hsiung (陳義雄).

The DPP caucus issued a statement yesterday demanding that pan-blue lawmakers stop making groundless accusations.

"The shooting incident had been used to discredit the good reputation of the police, slander the president and create social disorder," the statement said.

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