Sat, May 27, 2006 - Page 3 News List

KMT won't ram through links bill, Ma says

CNA , TAIPEI

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) said yesterday that the KMT is opposed to railroading through the legislature a draft bill on an amendment package that would allow direct transport links between Taiwan and China.

Ma, who doubles as Taipei mayor, said that the KMT would rather let the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration willingly come up with its own draft bill on opening direct cross-strait transport links.

Ramming the draft amendments through the legislature would not be good for the country, Ma said, adding that even if the opposition-initiated bill were passed by the legislature, its implementation would still depend on the Executive Yuan.

Ma again called for the DPP administration to begin working on the cross-strait direct links issue for the mutual benefit of the people on both sides of the Strait.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said on Thursday that the draft bill would be put to a vote in the legislature if cross-party negotiations failed to achieve a consensus.

Thursday was the deadline for negotiations among the legislative caucuses from the pan-green and pan-blue camps on the draft bill.

Lawmakers from the two camps failed to make any headway on the last day of negotiations, with both sides refusing to budge an inch in their stances.

Since last Friday, pan-green legislators have blocked the KMT-led opposition -- which holds a slight majority in the legislature -- from putting the draft bill to a vote. The pan-green camp opposes the bill because they say it would undermine the government's authority to set cross-strait policy.

The PFP, which initiated the draft bill, has insisted that since the four-month negotiation period has expired, the bill must be passed before the current legislative session ends on Wednesday.

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