Thu, Jun 12, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Groups protest over controversial bills, extra session

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Activists from 14 groups gather in front of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday to protest against the cross-strait service trade agreement and the routine use of extra legislative sessions to pass bills.

Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

Members of 14 groups yesterday demonstrated outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, warning lawmakers not to pass the cross-strait service trade agreement and the bills on free economic pilot zones and a mechanism to monitor cross-strait agreements in the extra session that begins tomorrow.

They also protested the routine use of extraordinary sessions to clear the legislature’s agenda.

“If the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) dares to pass the three controversial bills during the extraordinary session despite the opposition of the public, we will certainly return to the Legislative Yuan again,” Democratic Front Against Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement convener Lai Chung-chiang (賴中強) told a crowd. “We are opposed to the cross-strait service trade agreement, we demand that the bill on free economic pilot zones be carefully reviewed and, while we support the bill to monitor cross-strait agreements, we are opposed to passing it during the extraordinary session.”

An extraordinary legislative session should be held to deal with emergency issues, “but since 2008, the KMT has made them routine,” Lai said.

Academia Sinica associate research fellow Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said that during an extraordinary session last year, “the legislature passed the controversial amendments to the Accountanting Act (會計法), triggering an uproar from the public, leading to the Cabinet’s retracting of the amendments and the president’s apology.”

“The KMT and Ma apparently have not learned their lesson from last year,” Huang said. “If the KMT insists, we will make this summer a difficult time for them.”

Taiwan Association of University Professors deputy secretary-general Chien Ting-nan (錢定南) said that during the 60 years from 1948 to 2008, there were only 10 extraordinary sessions.

“However, since 2008 there have been 10,” he said.

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