Tue, Apr 01, 2008 - Page 3 News List

KMT legislators fume at plan to check attendance

FOR THE RECORD A legislator from the south said the plan was unfair to those who do not live in the north while another said it treated them like preschool kids

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) plan to evaluate members' performance by their attendance in legislative committee meetings provoked the ire of several legislators from the south yesterday.

"[The party headquarters has] once again put more emphasis on northern Taiwan, which is very unfair to legislators from southern Taiwan," said KMT Legislator Ho Tsai-feng (侯彩鳳), who represents a district in Kaohsiung City.

Ho said she had to take the high speed rail at 6:36am to make it to the 9am legislative committee meeting every morning.

She said she would not be able to attend to the needs of residents in her electoral district if the party headquarters focuses on legislators' attendance.

"We [legislators from southern Taiwan] will not be able to attend activities that take place in the morning," she said.

Ho's complaint came after a report in yesterday's Chinese-language United Daily News said the KMT headquarters was planning to improve the party caucus' image by introducing stricter regulations for its legislators.

KMT legislators whose attendance record ranked in the bottom 10 of the legislature's 113 lawmakers would lose the party's nomination in the next legislative election, the report said.

KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) was quoted as saying that party legislators who do not behave will have to pay the price.

KMT Legislator Chung Shao-ho (鍾紹和) from Kaohsiung County voiced his disapproval, saying the party treated legislators like "kindergarten pupils."

"We are all grown-ups. Every legislator should be able to exercise self-control and self-determination. We don't need this kind of regulation," he said when asked for comment.

In contrast, KMT Legislator Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) from Taichung City gave the party credit for its effort to improve the image of the caucus.

"I'm glad the KMT is taking the initiative to consider this issue. No matter what, we should overcome all difficulties to find a common ground," she said.

Meanwhile, KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) said the party's streamlining plan would continue.

But he dismissed media speculation that the party would move its headquarters, currently on Bade Road, to the KMT think tank, the National Policy Foundation, on Hangzhou S Road.

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