Employing the same stalling technique as they had last Friday, pan-green legislators yesterday again prevented the amendments dealing with the issue of direct links with China from being put to a vote, with the pan-blue camp saying it would retaliate by boycotting further government budgets.
The cross-party negotiation on direct links amendments proceeded from 9am yesterday. But the pan-green and pan-blue legislative caucuses had still not reached consensus on the 28th clause of the Statute Governing the Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例) by 3pm. As a result, the pan-blue camp said it would put the amendments to a vote in the legislature at about 4:30pm.
During the negotiation process, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) reached an agreement on the 28th clause of the statute that stipulates that all ships, aircraft and other forms of transport that travel to China need approval from the Taiwanese government. They also agreed that the amended bills would take effect six months after they were passed.
But the People First Party (PFP) legislative caucus opposed that version of the clause and refused to consider any other versions proposed by the DPP caucus and the Mainland Affairs Council.
To show that it was sincere in promoting negotiation, the council proposed five different versions of the amendments. However, the PFP was unwilling to accept any of them.
When Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (
Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislators protested by sitting on the floor.
Chanting slogans such as "Taiwan's sovereignty cannot be decided by a legislative vote" and "the KMT and the PFP are passing direct transportation [amendments] to sell Taiwan down the drain -- They are the enemy of the people," the DPP legislators stayed on the speaker's platform until 5pm.
As a result of all the chaos, Wang eventually announced that the legislature would work to encourage cross-party negotiations and that the amendments would be dealt with on a future date.
Wang added that he was sorry to see a repeat of last Friday's shenanigans in the legislature. He condemned lawmakers for paralyzing the legislature, adding that he was concerned that nothing would be achieved during the current legislative session as the pan-blue camp was ready to close the door on negotiations with the pan-green camp.
PFP caucus whip Lu Hsueh-chang (
On the sidelines, a KMT legislator and a DPP legislator came to blows.
KMT Legislator Wu Ying-yih (