Wed, Aug 13, 2014 - Page 3 News List

No third extra legislative session: KMT

‘EXHAUSTED’ LEGISLATORS:Citing varied opinions among legislators, the KMT’s acting caucus whip revealed the caucus’ decision not to call a third extra session

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday decided against calling a third extra legislative session, while Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) brushed off an invitation to meet President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

At a press conference to address the explosions in Greater Kaohsiung on Monday — 11 days after the disaster — Ma said that inter-party political infighting should end and that the minority parties should stop “bullying the majority and paralyzing legislative proceedings,” so the nation’s economic development can thrive.

Tsai yesterday said that the proposed meeting between herself and Ma as KMT chairman is not the most pressing issue right now and that nothing would be achieved if only form — as opposed to substance — is being underlined.

Rejecting Ma’s accusations of political bullying, Tsai reminded the president that the KMT is both the majority party in the Legislative Yuan and the nation’s ruling party.

“What it should do is to unassumingly communicate with the opposition and the public, rather than trying to ram bills through in extra legislative sessions before thorough discussion and coordination have been accomplished,” Tsai said.

Meanwhile, the KMT caucus said that it decided against calling another extra legislative session, which would have been held next week, amid a difference of opinion over the value of such a session.

Two extraordinary sessions have already been held, despite objections from the opposition parties. One tackled confirmation votes on Control Yuan nominations, while the KMT and Ma intended to use the other to review legislation covering an oversight mechanism for cross-strait agreements, the special draft bill on free economic pilot zones and the cross-strait service trade agreement.

Apart from the confirmation votes, none of those goals were achieved, derailed by the opposition’s use of obstruction as protest.

Acting KMT caucus whip Legislator Alex Fai (費鴻泰) yesterday said that the KMT caucus would not motion for a third extra session. Fai is acting in the place of Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池), who resigned after 11 nominees for Control Yuan positions failed to be approved, a performance characterized as a fiasco and failure of the party caucus.

Different opinions abound within the KMT, with some legislators expressing exhaustion, while others urge the quick passage of the bills concerning economic development, Fai said, adding that the economic bills are to be at the top of the legislative agenda in the next plenary session, which is expected to begin in a month.

Before the announcement, new KMT deputy caucus whip Liao Kuo-tung (廖國棟) said that many believe now is bad timing, as the government and the opposition have serious disagreements.

“Many of us are against a third session, but we also understand Chairman Ma’s sense of urgency; he has been pretty anxious about the bills. But the current milieu, with the two parties’ hostility persisting and even deteriorating, just does not allow for it,” Liao said.

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