Wed, Apr 29, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Legislature calls SEF, MAC chiefs for pacts briefing

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lawmakers passed a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus motion to summon Straits Exchange Foundation (SEF) Chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤) and Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan (賴幸媛) to brief the legislature on the third round of cross-strait talks.

Under the motion, Chiang and Lai would be required to answer questions from legislators.

Chiang and Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) signed three agreements in Nanjing on Sunday, agreeing to add more regular cross-strait charter flights, establish a financial cooperation mechanism and join forces to combat crime.

Lai had been scheduled to report on the government’s stance on the talks to the legislature’s Internal Administration Committee last Wednesday, but didn’t following a verbal and physical altercation between KMT Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩).

On Monday, DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) called the Chiang-Chen talks a failure and accused the government of making concessions on sovereignty.

The DPP is planning a rally on May 17 to protest of the government’s China policies.

Meanwhile, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) backed President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) announcement during a meeting of senior KMT politicians on Monday night that there was no need for National Security Council (NSC) Secretary-General Su Chi (蘇起) to brief the legislature, as a motion intitiated by the DPP requested.

“The president initiated the discussion yesterday on the DPP caucus’ motion that Su Chi brief the legislature,” Wang told reporters. “The president was right. Su Chi is an aide, not a decision-maker. Therefore, this [the motion] would be controversial.”

Ma’s decision was in line with the Constitution, Wang said.

KMT Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) also backed Ma, saying government officials had more important problems to worry about.

DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) disagreed: “Ma Ying-jeou, you are wrong again.”

Under the Constitution, the president is in charge of cross-strait affairs, national defense and diplomacy, and since Su is Ma’s top secretary on national security he should brief the legislature on significant national security affairs, the lawmaker said.

Tsai Huang-liang said Ma would be in contempt of the Constitution and the legislature if he ordered Su not to report to the legislature.

The Ma government should be criticized for rejecting legislative supervision and Ma is an unconstitutional president, the DPP lawmaker said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY RICH CHANG

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