Legislative watchdog Citizen Congress Watch (CCW) yesterday announced it would hold a “blindfold” rally ahead of the second provisional legislative session to urge the legislature to overturn its decision to allow the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) to skip a preliminary review.
CCW chief executive officer Ho Tsung-hsun (何宗勳) told a press conference that about 1,000 to 2,000 members of civic groups will walk from the Liberty Square at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial to the legislature wearing blindfolds on Aug. 14 to protest the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers pushing through a decision to put the ECFA and relevant proposals directly to a second reading.
The legislature resolved on July 9 to allow the pact to skip an article-by-article committee review amid scuffles between the KMT and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucuses, referring it instead to a one-month cross-party negotiation period.
The DPP caucus later withdrew from the session in protest.
The legislature is likely to hold the second provisional meeting of the spring legislative session from Aug. 16 to Aug. 31 to push through the agreement and other controversial bills, including three proposals aiming at bringing Chinese students to Taiwan and giving recognition to Chinese credentials.
Ho said participants of the planned rally would also carry 6,000 black balloons when they surround the legislature to show that the nation’s democracy has been clouded.
Ho criticized Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng’s (王金平) performance during the July 9 session, saying that Wang failed to act impartially and ruled along party lines to put the ECFA directly to a second reading.
“The legislature only spent six minutes reaching the decision,” Ho said, urging Wang to apologize to the public.
Ho said members of the group would also visit the speaker at the legislature at 8:30am on Aug. 16 to demand that Wang sign a written document promising to chair the second provisional meeting impartially.
“If he refuses to sign it, he may become the prime target of our next campaign to vote down incompetent legislators [in the next legislative election],” Ho said.