Sat, Jun 14, 2014 - Page 3 News List

KMT abuses extra legislative sessions, DPP says

THE ‘NORM’:The KMT has made extra sessions ‘de rigueur,’ and a poll has found Ma’s instructions to his caucus to push through legislation questionable, the DPP said

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) are abusing extra legislative sessions and filling them with controversial agenda items, without including any significant proposals from the opposition, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.

“The three-week extra session is the 11th since Ma assumed office in May 2008. The KMT has made the extraordinary session an ordinary norm,” DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) told a press conference yesterday morning as the extra session began.

Tsai, who serves as director-general of the DPP caucus, also criticized the KMT for blocking all the legislative initiatives proposed by the DPP, including a nuclear-free homeland, lowering the voting age and amending the Referendum Act (公民投票法).

“It’s impossible that no DPP proposal was worthy of discussion. If Ma was serious about reconciliation with the opposition, he would have accepted some DPP proposals,” Tsai added.

DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), caucus chief secretary, said that by blocking a DPP proposal which demanded that Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) report on the scandal-laden affordable housing project in Bade City (八德), Taoyuan County, the KMT showed it “did not care about the things ordinary people care about.”

Meanwhile, a DPP public opinion poll conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday found that a majority of respondents were suspicious about several pieces of legislation that the KMT was trying to push through the extra session, DPP spokesperson Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) said.

Asked about the cross-strait service trade agreement, which is awaiting legislative screening, 65.4 percent of those polled said that the pact should be renegotiated, while only 18.3 percent supported its immediate passage without revision.

On the free economic pilot zones, 75 percent of the respondents did not think the government was well-prepared, while 62.9 percent expressed concerns about its impact on the economy and industries.

Of those polled, 79.8 percent agreed that the Legislative Yuan should play a more powerful role in monitoring cross-strait agreements, and more than half were not satisfied with the performance of current Control Yuan and Examination Yuan members, according to the survey, which collected 1,115 valid samples and had a margin of errors of 2.99 percentage points.

“The poll brings into question the legitimacy of Ma’s instruction to his caucus to pass the controversial free economic pilot zones, the service trade pact, the cross-strait monitoring statute and the Control Yuan and Examination Yuan members’ review,” DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said.

The KMT caucus has described the DPP’s proposal to either eliminate the Control Yuan and Examination Yuan or to reduce the number of their members as unconstitutional.

However, DPP Legislator Huang Wei-cher (黃偉哲) hit back saying that the KMT’s actions had been unconstitutional under a DPP government when it blocked a review of Control Yuan members, paralyzing the body and government for three years.

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