Tue, Jun 16, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers delay bills review

CONTROVERSIAL Legislators agreed not to hold extraordinary meetings after the current session ends because of a lack of consensus on a number of disputed bills

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lawmakers yesterday agreed to postpone the review of a number of controversial bills until the end of this year instead of pushing them through before the end of the current legislative session today, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said.

Wang said legislators would not vote on a Cabinet-proposed amendment to the Assembly and Parade Act (集會遊行法) as public opposition to the bill remained high even after lawmakers had negotiated the content of the bill on four different occasions.

The Cabinet's proposal will allow police to retain the power to break up demonstrations if they think the rally is blocking traffic or disturbs social order. It will also continue to ban rallies from designated areas around government offices, calling them “safe distances” instead of “restricted areas.” Organizers will still be required to notify the police if they plan to stage a demonstration.

Legislators across party lines also resolved to table a bill on reducing carbon emissions until the UN's Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December, Wang said.

Legislators agreed to help the two bills clear the legislative floor by the end of this year, Wang said.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Lin Yi-shih (林益世) vowed to negotiate the controversial bills with opposition lawmakers “with more patience” to avoid physical conflict.

He also defended the legislature's performance, saying that lawmakers had been “the most efficient ever” during the spring session.

“A total of 133 bills were passed in the last week of the session,” Lin said.

Lin said legislators preferred not to hold extraordinary sessions to pass more bills.

In related developments, the KMT-dominated legislature voted down DPP proposals requiring the state-run Taiwan Sugar Corp to immediately lower the prices of its sugar and cooking oil products and asking state-run Taiwan Power Co to freeze electricity prices this summer.

The legislature also rejected DPP proposals banning officials at government-funded organizations from investing in China and another proposal authorizing the Financial Supervisory Commission to ban Chinese investors from gaining management rights over local financial institutions.

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