Wed, Feb 13, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Parties trade accusations on failed bills

FINGER-POINTING The KMT blamed DPP committee heads for blocking the review of sunshine bills, while the DPP said the KMT-controlled Procedure Committee was at fault

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The two major party caucuses yesterday pointed fingers at each other over the last legislature's limited achievement in pushing sunshine bills.

At a press conference held by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus, KMT Legislator Alex Fai (費鴻泰) accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus of pretending to push sunshine legislation while its legislators, who served as heads of the legislature's Organic Laws and Statutes Committee and the Home and Nations Committee in the previous legislature, failed to include sunshine bills in the committees' agenda.

Fai said former DPP legislator Kao Chien-chih (高建智), who presided over six of the 33 Home and Nations Committee meetings, did not put proposed amendments to the Political Donation Law (政治獻金法) and the Election and Recall Law of Civil Servants (公職人員選舉罷免法) to committee discussion when he convened the meetings.

"Former DPP legislator Chen Chin-de (陳金德) presided over nine [of the 28] Organic Laws and Statutes Committee meetings in the last legislature, but he did not include amendments to the Legislators' Conduct Act (立法委員行為法), the Public Functionary Assets Disclosure Law (公職人員財產申報法),the Civil Servant Conflict of Interests Prevention Act (公務人員利益迴避法) or the proposed organic statute of the clean politics bureau on the committee agenda at all. Did the DPP really know what its legislators were doing when they presided over the meetings?" Fai asked.

Fai's accusations came after a report in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times' sister newspaper) yesterday said many of the nine sunshine bills the DPP promoted in the last legislature were blocked by the pan-blue camp in the pan-blue dominated Procedure Committee.

Among the nine sunshine bills, the last legislature only passed two amendments to the Election and Recall Law of Civil Servants and the Public Functionary Assets Disclosure Law and completed enactment of the Lobby Law (遊說法).

Five other sunshine bills -- the draft political party law, the draft organic statute of the clean politics bureau, a draft legislation on recovering the KMT's stolen assets and several amendments to the Political Donation Law, the Legislators' Conduct Act and the Civil Servant Conflict of Interests Prevention Act -- remained stalled.

Meanwhile, the DPP legislative caucus yesterday said the KMT should bear responsibility for failing to pass the sunshine bills.

DPP legislative caucus whip William Lai (賴清德) said at a press conference yesterday that since the Procedure Committee, which is controlled by the KMT legislative caucus, refused to pass the sunshine bills to the Home and Nations Committee and the Judiciary Committee for examination, the bills had nowhere to go in the last session.

Lai said the KMT, which controlled the legislature, should be blamed.

He said the organic law for the establishment of the anti-graft bureau was blocked in the Procedure Committee 165 times by KMT legislators, the Civil Servants Conflicts of Interest Prevention Act was blocked 24 times and an amendment to the Legislators' Conduct Act was blocked 15 times.

The legislator called on the KMT to refrain from boycotting the bills and passing on the blame to DPP legislators.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RICH CHANG

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