The first legislative floor meeting after the nine-in-one elections yesterday ended only minutes after it started and with Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) announcing that various bills, including legislation on an oversight mechanism for cross-strait agreements, would be referred to further cross-party negotiations.
The legislature was closed for a week before the elections before reopening on Monday, but several standing committees were not able to hold scheduled meetings due to the absence of Executive Yuan officials resulting from the Cabinet’s resignation following the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) disastrous defeat in the elections.
Yesterday’s legislative floor meeting was also affected. The scheduled agenda for the floor session, including the readings of the amendment to the Income Tax Act (所得稅法) and the draft bill on long-term care service, was delayed for the bills to be negotiated among the parties. Also referred to cross-party negotiations was the reconsideration of the cross-strait agreements oversight mechanism bill, which — if dealt with according to the agenda — would have to be put to a vote and referred to the Internal Administration Committee for deliberation.
Despite the deferral, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus still placed the oversight bill, along with the approval of the proposed Control Yuan members, on the agenda for the floor meeting on Friday in the Procedure Committee meeting.
KMT caucus whip Alex Fai (費鴻泰) said that since the two proposals were fairly near the bottom of the agenda, there would be little chance that they would be discussed at the next meeting.
Economic Democracy Union convener Lai Chung-chiang (賴中強) and member Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) visited the Democratic Progressive Party and Taiwan Solidarity Union party caucuses on Monday, calling on the two parties to require the new Cabinet to retract the version of the draft bill proposed by Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺).
The group told the two parties that the Executive Yuan’s version of the bill should be redrafted by the new Cabinet and that the bill should be reviewed only after the KMT finished its legislator nominations next year, when the legislators are no longer restricted by party discipline.
Lai yesterday reiterated that the outcome of the election showed that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) approach to cross-strait relationship-building was opposed by the public.
Voters are asking the government to prioritize Taiwan’s economic and political autonomy in any future cross-strait economic and trade negotiations to reduce the nation’s dependence on China, Lai said, adding that it was urgent to break the “comprador system of the cross-strait clique of the wealthy and powerful.”
Lai said that since a new mandate has formed, the passage of the problem-ridden cross-strait service trade agreement and trade in goods agreement should be postponed until a new president and a new legislature are elected in 2016.
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up