Mon, Jul 29, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Parties still at odds over extra legislative session

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Differences in political party’s objectives for the Legislative Yuan’s extra session, which is to run from today through Saturday next week, has prompted party legislative caucuses to agree to a legislature-wide meeting this morning to settle which issues should be tackled in the session.

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus, led by KMT Legislator Lee Ching-hua (李慶華), is prioritizing a proposal for a referendum on construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), as well as focusing on the cross-strait service trade agreement, budgets for state enterprises and amendments to the Military Justice Act (軍事審判法).

Within months of taking the job, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) proposed to have the issue of whether to complete construction of the nuclear power plant — long criticized by the opposition and anti-nuclear groups for being a security liability and a financial sinkhole — decided by a national referendum.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) — while not specifying the priority of its objectives — said it wishes to include amendments to the Military Justice Act, and amendments to the National Security Act (國家安全法) and the Criminal Procedural Act (刑事訴訟法) in the extra session.

The DPP also intends to invite Minister of National Defense Kao Hua-chu (高華柱), Jiang and other Cabinet officials to brief legislators on issues regarding protection of human rights in the military and the demolition of houses in Miaoli County’s Dapu Borough (大埔).

Recent controversy over the death of army corporal Hung Chung-chiu (洪仲丘) — who died of heat exhaustion allegedly brought on by inappropriate treatment while in detention barracks — has caused a furor over human rights in the military.

The forced demolition of four houses in Dapu under the county government’s plans to use the land for a science park expansion has also sparked controversy, with the county government accused of administrative over-reach and the legitimacy of the demolitions questioned.

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) convener Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) said yesterday afternoon that the TSU caucus is solidly opposed to placing the proposed referendum on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant on the list of issues to be discussed in the extra legislative session.

Such a proposal is not suitable to be discussed during the session because safety inspection reports for the plant have yet to materialize, Hsu said.

However, KMT Policy Committee chief executive Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said that the issue of the power plant has been a thorn in the side of the legislature for more than two decades, adding that prolonging the standoff over the issue would not be beneficial to the nation.

The public should be given a choice on how they wish the matter of the plant’s construction to be resolved, Lin said, adding that a bipartisan consensus on how to deal with the issue reasonably should be reached as soon as possible.

DPP caucus secretary-general Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) said that the DPP has decided to counter the pan-blue camp’s referendum proposal with a move to halt construction of the plant.

However, Wu said that the DPP caucus would be meeting tomorrow for a final decision on the issue, adding that though the party is opposed to the KMT’s referendum proposal, the DPP respects people’s right to decide the issue.

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