Wed, Mar 26, 2014 - Page 3 News List

TRADE PACT SIEGE: Minutes of meeting prove pact’s review invalid: DPP’s Kuan

MATTER OF RECORD:A photo of the minutes that the lawmaker put online purports to show that the first review of the service pact was never completed

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Citing a draft of the Legislative Yuan Gazette showing that the March 17 joint review committee meeting at which the cross-strait service trade agreement was sent to a plenary session hardly commenced, let alone being completed, rendering it illegitimate, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) said yesterday.

Kuan said this meant the pact needs to be inspected at a fresh committee meeting to complete that phase of the review process.

The March 17 review session convened by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chang Ching-chung (張慶忠) is one of the main catalysts of the student-led protests in and around the Legislative Yuan compound in Taipei.

At that meeting, Chang unilaterally sent the pact to a plenary session without it having undergone substantial review.

A photograph Kuan posted on Facebook yesterday showed the minutes of the review meeting published in a draft of the latest Legislative Yuan Gazette, according to which Chang said: “I’m reporting to the committee that the attendance is 52 [lawmakers] and has met the required threshold...” as he prepared to announce the start of the meeting.

What Chang said afterward was not recorded in the minutes, the remaining documentation of the session saying only: “The meeting descended into chaos.”

Kuan said the minutes showed that Chang’s claim that the meeting was legitimate was “a joke” and that the trade pact should never have been sent to the plenary session for a second reading.

The DPP and the Taiwan Solidarity Union have refused to acknowledge the legality of Chang’s move, saying it was illegitimate because the lawmaker did not make his announcement on the podium, so no one heard him.

However, the KMT insists that the review was completed and has rejected the protesters’ and the DPP’s request to withdraw the pact from the plenary session.

As the protesters continued their legislature sit-in yesterday, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) convened the second inter-party negotiation in as many days to end the stalemate.

The negotiations failed to arrive at a consensus due to ideological differences between the ruling and opposition camps, Wang told reporters outside his residence, where the talks were held.

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