Sat, Apr 05, 2014 - Page 3 News List

TRADE PACT SIEGE: Wang vague on report that police will remove students

Staff writer, with CNA

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday played down a media report that suggested he would allow police to enter the main chamber of the Legislative Yuan and remove protesters, provided he was given advance notification of the intention.

According to the Chinese-language United Daily News, Wang was quoted by senior Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers as saying that police can enter the chamber to end the nearly three-week old occupation after notifying him.

The student-led occupation is an “issue of law enforcement,” Wang was quoted by the leaders of the KMT legislative caucus as saying in the United Daily News report, which did not name any sources.

If opposition lawmakers, who sympathize with the student-led movement, attempt to stop the police from removing the hundreds of protesters, an official with the Legislative Yuan’s Organic Laws and Statutes Bureau said that would constitute an obstruction of officers in the discharge of their duties, the United Daily News report said.

The police will have the authority to disperse the lawmakers, the official was quoted as saying.

In response to media queries about the report yesterday, Wangsaid: “That is an interpretation of the Organic Laws and Statutes Bureau.”

On the question of how to break the impasse, Wang said all sides need to work hard, “myself included, of course.” He did not elaborate.

The comments cited in the media report were made to KMT caucus leaders after the latest round of consultations between ruling and opposition legislative caucuses on Thursday failed to make any progress on reconvening the legislature, the United Daily News said.

Wang’s attitude toward police authority should be exercised in the Legislative Yuan is important because the concept of “parliamentary autonomy” has been cited by both administration officials and lawmakers as a reason for allowing the occupation that began on March 18 to continue.

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