Tue, Mar 03, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Ma not keen on task force for agreements with PRC

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday expressed reservations over a proposal that the legislature set up a task force to supervise the signing of cross-strait agreements.

A close aide to Ma, who asked to remain anonymous, said Ma was not keen on the idea of forming the task force, whose establishment Ma said would “require further study.”

The rationale behind Ma’s opposition was that the legislative committees could play a similar role by hearing reports from the Executive Yuan before an agreement was signed and they could also examine it afterwards, the aide quoted Ma as saying, adding that Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) agreed.

The official said Ma made the remarks during yesterday’s weekly luncheon with Siew, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄) and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) at the Presidential Office.

Among the topics discussed was the controversial economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA), the official said.

As Wang has been aggressively pushing for the establishment of the task force, the official said, he broached the subject again during the meeting. Wang, however, denied that he ever said the legislature should have the right to review the contents of the economic pact before it is signed.

The official said Wang told Ma that it was necessary to form a cross-strait task force, but both Ma and Siew said it would require further study.

Ma, however, promised Wang that the executive branch would brief the legislature in advance before any deal is signed, the official said.

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