Wed, May 03, 2006 - Page 3 News List

319 investigation statute set to cause legislative row

BLUE-GREEN STANDOFF The assassination attempt probe seems likely to cause even more bad feeling in the legislature thanks to the differing stances on the issue

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and opposition parties yesterday refused to budge from their positions regarding the statute aimed at re-establishing a committee to investigate the 319 shooting, meaning it may go back to the legislative floor if challenges against it are successful.

On April 11 the legislature passed the amendment to the "March 19 Shooting Truth Investigation Special Committee Statute" (三一九槍擊事件真相調查特別委員會條例), after the original statute was judged unconstitutional.

The amendment, presented by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and People First Party (PFP) caucuses, aims to re-establish a committee to probe the assassination attempt on President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) on March 19, 2004.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) confirmed yesterday that he had received a letter from the president, in which Chen said that the passage of the amendment may still be in violation of the Constitution.

To resolve the controversy, Chen suggested in the letter filing a constitutional interpretation with the Council of Grand Justices or revising the amendment.

Wang told the press, that despite the president's concerns, he will re-establish the committee based on the statute's regulations,

In accordance with the statute, the 17-seat committee will be designated by the legislative speaker and the committee will start operation within ten days of the statute being promulgated by the president.

Chen promulgated it on Monday.

Wang yesterday convened cross-party negotiations, asking the legislative caucuses to recommend members for the committee. Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) caucus whips were all absent, showing their intention to boycott the committee.

The DPP caucus whip Chen Chin-jun (陳景峻) said the caucus will file for a constitutional interpretation on the statute and also ask the Council of Grand Justices to issue an injunction against it.

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