Tue, May 03, 2016 - Page 3 News List

New Power Party protests KMT-DPP ‘secret’ discussion

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday called for talks on the form and role of cross-caucus negotiations, criticizing what it said were secret talks following the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) occupation of the legislative speaker’s podium on Friday last week.

“Because there is no clear conclusion on whether there were cross-caucus negotiations on Friday, there is a need to clarify the controversy, including whether any negotiations were filmed as required,” NPP Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said.

Formal cross-caucus negotiations are often used to resolve disputes over procedural issues and legislation, but have drawn criticism for their alleged opacity, leading to new rules this legislative session requiring negotiations to be recorded.

After a break in Friday’s legislative floor meeting following the occupation of the speaker’s podium, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) announced a recess.

He also said that in the future no motions would be discussed prior to the convening of any required cross-caucus negotiations.

That led the NPP to claim that the DPP and KMT had violated the new rules by engaging in secret “cross-caucus” talks to resolve the occupation prior to Su’s announcement.

“We were not invited, but we found out something was going on,” NPP caucus convener Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said.

Hsu said he had discovered DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) in discussion with his KMT counterpart, Lin Te-fu (林德福), when he visited the speaker’s chambers during the legislative break.

The NPP lawmaker said he left the room after urging Lin to break up the podium occupation.

Su has yet to respond formally to the NPP’s demands for talks to clarify the dispute, Hsu said.

The NPP’s concerns were brushed off by other parties’ officials.

“You should be more broad-minded, because part of official business is talking about minor issues — this did not constitute a ‘negotiation,’” Lin said, calling the controversy a “joke” and telling the NPP not to “suspect everyone.”

DPP caucus secretary-general Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) said there was “no need” for the NPP to make “arbitrary accusations.”

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