Wed, May 28, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Chai to propose legislation on absences

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) said yesterday he would propose a law to combat government officials who refuse to brief the legislature.

“The continuous absence of certain Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] government officials from our legislative meetings since last week has wasted a lot of time and money. But we cannot do anything about it,” Chai said.

“What they are doing is hurting the public and humiliating the legislature. We need something to prevent it in the future,” Chai said.

Chai’s remarks were aimed at Minister of National Defense Chen Chao-min (陳肇敏), who has asked to be excused from attending the legislature since last week. The KMT has been taking advantage of its majority to approve his requests, Chai said.

Chen became a target of criticism following his comments alleging that the election-eve 319 assassination attempt was staged.

KMT lawmakers have helped Chao avoid potential criticism from DPP lawmakers by approving his absence from legislative sessions ever since, said Chai. The Diplomacy and National Defense Committee has also been arranging trips for its members to help the minister avoid any further gaffes, he said.

“We just want our officials to be responsible for their jobs,” Chai said. “As a result, a law similar to the US Congress’ obstruction-related regulations should be adopted, so that officials who are constantly absent from legislative sessions can be charged and indicted.”

Chai said he hoped his proposal would be supported, as it would give the legislature the authority to make sure government officials are doing their jobs properly.

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