President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of violating the law and the Constitution by boycotting Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) report to the legislature, and urged the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus to make more efforts to allow Jiang to deliver his report in the wake of a failed no-confidence motion launched by the opposition.
“The opposition camp’s boycott of the premier’s report is a violation of the laws and the Constitution. It also affected the overall functioning of the political system. As the no-confidence motion has failed, it is time to allow the premier to fulfill his constitutional duty and present his report,” Ma, who doubles as KMT chairman, said at party headquarters.
Since the new session opened on Sept. 17, opposition parties have blocked Jiang from taking the podium to deliver his policy address six times.
Amid the political strife, the opposition camp launched a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet, which was rejected on Tuesday by a margin of 67 to 45.
All 65 KMT lawmakers voted against the motion, along with Non-Partisan Solidarity Union Legislator May Chin (高金素梅) and independent Legislator Chen Shuen-sheng (陳雪生), who decided to side with the KMT.
The votes in favor of the motion came from the DPP’s 40 lawmakers, the Taiwan Solidarity Union’s three and two from the People First Party.
While presenting certificates to the KMT’s new legislative caucus leaders in his capacity as party chairman, Ma yesterday thanked KMT lawmakers for defeating the no-confidence motion, and urged them to handle major bills in this session, including the general budget bill, pension reform, the cross-strait service trade agreement and the regulations on the establishment of representative offices across the Taiwan Strait.
“The cross-strait service trade agreement attracts attention both locally and internationally because it indicates whether the nation can join regional economic integration more smoothly in the future,” he said, urging the party caucus to spare no effort in this session.
Taiwan and China inked the service trade agreement in Shanghai in late June. If ratified by the Legislative Yuan, it will open up 55 non-financial services sub-sectors to Chinese investment, including printing, tourism, restaurants, packaging, delivery service, car rentals and the hair and beauty industry.
Critics of the pact have criticized what they said was the government’s lack of transparency in signing it, failure to keep affected sectors informed and the absence of a comprehensive assessment of the potential impact on the economy, in particular the effect on small and medium-sized enterprises and the job market.
Additional reporting by staff writer