Thu, Dec 19, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Ma, KMT warned over service pact

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Civic groups and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday warned President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) over their reported plan to push the cross-strait service trade agreement through the legislature in an extra session, saying that such a move would have “consequences.”

As the current legislative session draws to a close, sources say the KMT caucus is planning to propose holding a two-week extra session beginning on Jan. 2 to pass the government’s budget plan, legislation related to government reform and the trade pact.

“The KMT must be held responsible if it decides to contravene the legislature’s resolution to screen and vote on the agreement clause-by-clause by forcibly pushing the pact through,” DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said yesterday.

The DPP said the screening of the deal should adhere to the consensus reached by the Legislative Yuan requiring that more than a dozen public hearings be conducted before the agreement is screened and voted on, DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-shien (林俊憲) said.

Meanwhile, several groups yesterday told a press conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei that they are planning to hold a demonstration outside the legislature’s compound on Sunday to voice their opposition to the trade deal.

Representatives from the Taiwan Labor Front, Taiwan Association of University Professors, Taiwan Democracy Watch, Black Island Nation Youth Front and the Democratic Front Against Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement (DFACTSA) said that if enacted, the executive branch-KMT purported plan would be “a serious violation of mainstream public opinion and breach of the legislature’s resolution.”

The protesters are to demand that lawmakers express their positions on several issues, including assessing the impact of the trade deal and compensation for those who it marginalizes, as well as regulations on Chinese investment and the monitoring of cross-strait agreements, DFACTSA spokesperson Lai Chung-chiang (賴中強) said.

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