Sat, Mar 22, 2014 - Page 3 News List

LEGISLATIVE SIEGE: KMT open to line-by-line review of pact

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said yesterday that the party was open to a line-by-line review of the cross-strait service trade agreement at the second reading stage in the legislature, but rejected the possibility that the pact be returned for a committee review.

Lin made the remarks to reporters after a meeting called by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday afternoon at his residence.

Wang invited the caucus whips of the KMT, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) to discuss the ongoing gridlock as the protest against the agreement entered its fourth day.

The DPP did not attend the meeting.

Prompted by a KMT ruling on Monday that the trade pact be sent to a second reading in the legislature for a vote as a whole amid a disagreement with the DPP about which party should take charge of a review at the committee stage, tens of thousands of students and protesters staged a protest which has paralyzed the operations of the legislature since Tuesday.

Lin said he restated the party’s position to Wang that the trade pact had already cleared the committee stage on Monday, but the party was open to a review process at the second reading stage in response to calls that the agreement be subject to a review on a clause-by-clause basis.

TSU Legislator Lai Chen-chang (賴振昌) said the party supports the demands of the protesters that the government reject the agreement and that lawmakers pass legislation to increases legislative supervision of cross-strait negotiations.

No consensus was reached on how to resolve the dispute, the lawmakers said.

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