Tue, Feb 17, 2009 - Page 3 News List

KMT caucus open to talks on number of DPP conveners

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) intention to compete for a quarter of the Legislative Yuan’s committee convener positions is “negotiable,” a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus member said yesterday.

KMT caucus deputy secretary-general Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔) told reporters that the caucus had yet to receive any information indicating that the DPP would like four out of the 16 committee chief positions.

Yang said the DPP could propose negotiations on the matter through Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).

The caucus would then make a final decision after deliberating over the issue in a meeting, she said.

The new legislative session will begin on Friday. The committee head elections are scheduled for March 2.

The DPP did not compete for any of the legislature’s 16 committee chief positions last session after rejecting the KMT’s offer of four spots in March last year.

The DPP’s decision last year left the KMT in a dominant position in all of the eight standing committees of the legislature.

But on Sunday the DPP caucus expressed an interest in seeking four spots this year.

DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) told reporters that the Legislative Yuan should consider assigning the committee head spots to different caucuses in accordance with the number of legislative seats that each caucus holds.

Ker said that as the DPP occupies a quarter of the seats in the legislature, the party should have a quarter of all the convener positions.

Separately, the KMT caucus said it would prioritize the government’s special budget requests of NT$150.6 billion (US$4.4 billion) to increase investment in public construction projects, the draft act governing the development of renewable energy and a proposed amendment to the Employment Insurance Act (就業保險法) during the new legislative session. The DPP caucus said it planned to give priority to a proposed amendment to the Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法) and several sunshine bills.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RICH CHANG

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