Sat, Sep 21, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Wang row ploy to push through trade deal: DPP

By Su Yung-yao and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) yesterday said the efforts by the Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration to remove Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) from the Legislative Yuan were a ploy to push for the ratification of the cross-strait service trade agreement in the legislature.

The nation has been rocked by the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division’s (SID) allegations that Wang had lobbied former minister of justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫), High Prosecutors’ Office Head Prosecutor Chen Shou-huang (陳守煌) and High Prosecutors’ Office Prosecutor Lin Shiow-tao (林秀濤) in an attempt to take legal pressure off Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘).

If it is ratified by the Legislative Yuan, the service trade agreement, which was signed in June in Shanghai, would open 64 sub-sectors in the service industry to Chinese investment, while China will open 80 sub-sectors to Taiwanese businesses.

Aside from the media reports of Ma having called several media companies on the Wang issue — showing that the government was attempting to influence it — Pan also said he received a tip-off from local supporters.

Pan cited source as saying that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) had launched a counter-offensive by spreading rumors — particularly around veterans’ villages — that Wang lobbied for Ker and that Ma did the right thing and that if the service trade agreement did not pass, the government’s finances would become even more strained, which could affect their retirement funding.

Some have alleged that Wang had struck a deal with the opposition party to let the Ma administration have little or no administrative results to show for in order to facilitate the impeachment of Ma, Pan said.

It is clear that efforts to remove Wang are not actually a vendetta against Wang himself, but are focused on the passage of the agreement, Pan said, adding that it was appalling that the government has resorted to using pension funds to intimidate its own citizens.

The government’s strained financial situation has nothing to do with the ratification of the agreement, and everything to do with how the Ma administration has handled economic policies, Pan said.

The KMT should not confuse the effects of its mistakes for the cause, Pan said.

Pointing out that the KMT holds a majority in the Legislative Yuan, Pan said it was strange that the KMT had not tried to amend the relevant legal acts over the past years if it was truly dissatisfied with how the legislature carried out its negotiations.

“Only when they are trying to remove Wang are they saying that the system is flawed, which does not make sense,” Pan said.

Pan added that whether Wang had or had not lobbied for Ker was not the president’s or the KMT’s business, adding that it was an internal disciplinary matter for the Legislative Yuan to deal with.

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