Tue, May 08, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Wang, Su seek results on stalled budget

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

While Wang Jin-pyng and Su Tseng-chang attempt to launch negotiations on the long-stalled budget, protesters march outside the Legislative Yuan yesterday during a demonstration organized by the Taiwan Solidarity Union.

PHOTO: CHU PEI-HSIUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday he would work with Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) to initiate party negotiations to find a solution to a controversial bill that has resulted in a five-month long stalling of this year's budget request.

Wang made the remarks after holding a closed-door meeting with Su yesterday.

The budget remained stalled in the legislature as a result of the heated confrontation between lawmakers over a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-proposed bill, which would see the Central Election Commission (CEC) recognized to give it a pan-blue majority.

KMT lawmakers have refused to review the budget bill unless the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) gives in to its demands.

"The premier and I will invite caucus whips from the KMT and the DPP to the negotiations, but success or failure depends on their sincerity in wanting to resolve the problem," Wang said.

Su paid a visit to Wang in his office at the legislature yesterday, calling on the speaker to come up with a way to de-couple the budget bill from the CEC question.

"The two bills should be dealt with separately. It's unreasonable for a budget to be stalled not because of the nature of the budget itself but because of another disputed bill," Su said.

Wang, however, said the KMT was unlikely to agree to clear the budget in the legislature without the passage of its CEC bill.

The controversy over the CEC bill stems from a DPP referendum request over the KMT's stolen assets, which the DPP wished to be held with next year's presidential election.

The DPP accuses the KMT of pushing the passage of the CEC bill to take control of the commission and thwart the referendum plans.

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