Mon, Nov 17, 2014 - Page 3 News List

KMT blasts DPP oversight bill move

’SUBSTANTIVE OPPOSITION’:A Chinese Nationalist Party spokesman lashed out against what he called the opposition’s stonewalling of a cross-strait oversight bill

Staff writer, with CNA

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of continuing to block an oversight bill on cross-strait pacts while blaming it for delayed action on the measure.

KMT spokesperson Charles Chen (陳以信) asked why the DPP would not send the bill to committee for an initial review when the party has said it “wants a full discussion” on the issue, and said that it was engaging in substantive opposition using procedural pretexts.

Chen said that during a student-led protest against a cross-strait service trade pact in March and April, the DPP demanded that an oversight bill be legislated before the pact was reviewed, a stance, he said, that has now changed to “no legislation and no review.”

He said the DPP should clearly state its position and urged DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to tell the public how long her party would continue to stonewall the legislation.

Chen’s comments came after legislators were scheduled to address a proposal on sending the bill to committee on Friday for an initial review that was blocked again by opposition caucuses.

The government has stepped up its criticism of the opposition over what has been termed obstruction of the bill in the wake of China and South Korea agreeing last week to sign a free-trade agreement.

The government says the pact between Beijing and Seoul could deal a serious blow to Taiwan’s trade with China, its biggest trading partner.

Chen said that the free-trade agreement’s impact is imminent and would be felt as soon as next year, rather than — as the DPP contends — only “possibly have an impact 10 years from now.”

The South Korean Ministry of Trade Industry and Energy said the deal is expected to save the nation’s exporters annual tariffs of US$5.4 billion, Chen said, and the products involved in US$4 billion of those savings could overlap with Taiwan’s exports.

However, despite the KMT’s call for speedy action on the bill, the DPP said the bill should wait for discussion until after the Nov. 29 elections.

DPP caucus whip Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) said the oversight bill is a major piece of legislation and the party wants to deal with it properly.

“The timing is not appropriate to rush to deal with highly contentious and politically charged issues before the election. The matter should wait until after the elections when there is plenty of time,” she said.

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