Sat, Feb 18, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Opposition parties decline Ma’s dinner invitation

By Shih Hsiao-kuang  /  Staff Reporter

Although President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has made good on his promise to boost communication with opposition parties and extended a dinner invitation through the Presidential Office, the parties have declined the offer.

Because of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) refusal to promise that it would not boycott a proposal put forward regarding the legislature’s Procedure Committee and the inability of all parties to reach a consensus on a date to discuss the possible amendments, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) and the People First Party (PFP) caucuses have all declined the Presidential Office’s invitation.

The DPP caucus announced on Feb. 5 that it was setting its sights on amending the Procedure Committee, the legislative body that determines whether proposals are within the Legislative Yuan’s jurisdiction, in an attempt to make it more transparent.

DPP caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) yesterday said if the KMT caucus was refusing to promise that it would not boycott the proposal, and with Ma also refusing to report to the Legislative Yuan, “a dinner is not necessary.”

If Ma was really sincere in his desire to communicate with the opposition parties, he can do so through the KMT’s caucus whips, Ker said, adding that the KMT caucus’ refusal to even promise not to boycott the amendment highlighted its lack of sincerity.

PFP caucus convener Thomas Lee (李桐豪) said that although the party supported the KMT’s candidates for the positions of legislative speaker and deputy legislative speaker, the PFP caucus had assigned itself a position of “neutral, but leaning to the left, and a distance must be kept between the PFP and the KMT.”

Translated by Jake Chung, Staff Writer

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