Wed, Dec 03, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Legislation referred to cross-party talks

MEETING LASTED MINUTES:The KMT placed the cross-strait agreement oversight mechanism bill on the agenda for Friday’s meeting, while activists urged its delay

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

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.

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