Thu, Apr 17, 2014 - Page 3 News List

SIEGE AFTERMATH: Ker worked with speaker to end student occupation

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) yesterday confirmed that he had worked with Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) behind the scenes to help bring about the students’ withdrawal from the legislative chamber, ending the Sunflower movement’s three-week-long occupation of the Legislative Yuan.

Accompanied by Ker and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池), Wang entered the legislative chamber on the morning of April 6 and met with the students 20 days after they began their occupation of the Legislative Yuan compound on March 18 in protest against the government’s handling of the cross-strait service trade agreement.

Wang pledged that legislation on a monitoring mechanism on cross-strait agreements would be passed before lawmakers begin screening the controversial service trade agreement.

The students announced the next day that they would vacate the legislative compound on Thursday last week.

Ker talked to reporters for more than 10 minutes yesterday in the Legislative Yuan after media reports revealed his collaboration with Wang, angering several DPP lawmakers who were displeased that Ker had kept them from knowing what happened during that week.

The convener said he met with Wang on March 29 — one day before the scheduled mass rally in front of the Presidential Office Building in Taipei the following day — and told the speaker that he would have to take action to resolve the political deadlock.

According to Ker, he and Wang collaborated for a solution in the ensuing week, during which he had informed several DPP politicians, including party Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), secretary-general Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀), DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康), on the progress of the secret initiative.

Ker said that he was nervous during the week, but was glad that he was able to persuade Wang into working together to resolve the “national crisis.”

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海) chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) was also extensively involved in the negotiation process, Ker said.

The senior lawmaker praised the Sunflower movement for “giving Taiwanese society a great lesson in democracy” and said that society should seize the opportunity to promote constitutional reform to resolve current flaws in the political system, such as President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) abuse of power and Taiwan’s malfunctioning representative democracy.

Several DPP lawmakers, including Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬), were unhappy about being kept in the dark about the initiative, saying that it was a “black-box operation” and betrayal of fellow party lawmakers.

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