Fri, Apr 20, 2007 - Page 3 News List

KMT strives to block draft bills

IN A TIGHT SPOT The two bills, which target the KMT's stolen assets and its former chairman, Ma Ying-jeou, were put on the Procedure Committee's agenda on Tuesday

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has shifted into full gear to mobilize party lawmakers in the hope of blocking two key draft bills in a legislative committee meeting to be held today.

Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), director of the KMT's Policy Coordination Committee, said all party lawmakers have been notified that they must attend the Procedure Committee meeting today, during which two bills regarding the handling of the KMT stolen assets and the banning of convicted individuals from future presidential elections are on the agenda.

The two bills, which target the KMT's stolen assets and its former chairman, Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), a contender in the KMT primary, were put on the committee's agenda on Tuesday because of the absence of People First Party (PFP) and Non-Partisan Solidarity Union (NPSU) lawmakers, who could have helped the KMT block the move.

Tseng said he was confident that with cooperation of PFP and NPSU lawmakers, they would be able to reject the two draft bills at today's meeting.

The KMT has been discussing the matter with the PFP and NPSU, he said.

Despite Tseng's call for PFP and NPSU collaboration, it remained unclear whether the two parties would join the KMT in its efforts to kill the bills.

Despite an alliance between the two parties struck in January that was intended to boost cooperation in the coming elections, the PFP has been at loggerheads with the KMT because of a row over the May 12 by-election for Keelung mayor and December's legislative elections.

In response to the KMT's desire that PFP lawmakers help block the two bills, PFP legislative caucus whip Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁) said that seven or eight PFP legislators had gone abroad and that he was unsure they would be back in time to attend today's meeting.

"The PFP will not act in a way that would force Ma to miss his chance to run in the 2008 presidential race," Fu said, adding that the PFP was to hold a meeting later yesterday to discuss how to deal with the situation in today's Procedure Committee meeting.

The PFP's stance on the matter, as well as that of the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union, which has eight legislative seats, will play a crucial role in today's vote, because the 90-seat KMT alone won't be able to vote down the amendment supported by the pan-green camp's 97 seats.

DPP had said it will motion to send the amendment directly to a second reading in today's session.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan

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