Wed, Sep 05, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Legislative meeting adjourns after PFP lawmakers' boycott

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The legislature's Procedure Committee -- convened yesterday ahead of the new legislative session which is scheduled to start on Friday -- adjourned within 10 seconds because of the absence of People First Party (PFP) lawmakers.

The committee was expected to put a proposal on the schedule for reviewing and voting on President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) nominations for auditor-general of the Ministry of Audit, Judicial Yuan president and vice president and six members of the Council of Grand Justices.

Under the proposal, the legislature will hold confirmation votes on the nominations next Friday, followed by one-day plenary session for a question-and-answer meeting with the candidate for auditor-general and a two-day meeting with nominees for grand justices.

The proposal also states that the new legislative session will start this Friday, while the interpellation session with Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) will begin next Friday.

The schedule was approved by all party caucuses during negotiations on Monday. PFP caucus whip Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁) was not present, but his two deputies and PFP Legislator Daniel Huang (黃義交) attended the meeting.

Although Huang had signed the agreement, PFP lawmakers failed to show up yesterday.

Citing the lack of a signature from Fu during Monday's negotiation, KMT Legislator Hsu Shao-ping (徐少萍), who serves as the rotating president of the Procedure Committee, said the PFP had yet to agree to the schedule and dismissed the meeting.

Caught off guard, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers failed to reverse the decision in time. They later called a press conference condemning the KMT and PFP for boycotting the confirmation hearing.

"Despite the PFP's absence, lawmakers present at the meeting already constituted a quorum. There was no reason for Hsu to dismiss the meeting," DPP Legislator Cheng Tsao-min (鄭朝明) said, accusing the KMT of colluding with the PFP to organize the boycott.

Fu told reporters that the PFP does not oppose the review, but "we wanted to review the candidates one by one, not as a whole."

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said he would convene another cross-party negotiation meeting this morning to discuss the matter.

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