Tue, Jul 19, 2016 - Page 3 News List

KMT calls for a ‘consensus’ on party assets bill

OPEN-MINDED:One KMT lawmaker said he would be optimistic if the DPP was willing to sit down with the opposition and talk about issues with the draft bills

By Lu Yi-hsuan  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus Secretary-General Lin Te-fu yesterday speaks to the media at a news conference in Taipei.

Photo: Lu Yi-hsuan, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday called on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to engage in a substantive discussion that “truly allows room for revisions” about controversial draft bills involving the KMT, which are set to be reviewed at an extra legislative session next month.

At a legislative caucus meeting yesterday morning, the DPP caucus decided to hold an extra legislative session from tomorrow to Friday next week.

The DPP plans to conduct a committee review of the Executive Yuan’s proposed amendment to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) which implements “one fixed day off and one flexible rest day” (一例一休) and to deal with a draft bill on ill-gotten political party assets and the proposed budgets for state-owned enterprises.

“As an opposition party, we generally adopt an open-minded attitude toward many issues and are willing to forge a consensus through discussions,” KMT Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said.

Chiang said since it would require time for parties with different opinions to communicate, he would be optimistic if the ruling party would be willing to sit down with the opposition and talk about issues with the draft bills to be handled during the extra legislative session and work to create a consensus.

KMT Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) said if the DPP is willing to negotiate with the KMT on parts of the draft bill regulating ill-gotten party assets that are “extremely unreasonable” and revise them into something that both sides can find acceptable, the KMT would not have needed to resort to boycotting legislative proceedings.

“However, by the look of it, the DPP’s insistence on holding the extra legislative session means that it is unwilling to give the opposition much room for negotiation,” Wang said.

Listing what she believes are the main controversial issues in the draft bill, Wang said the use of the term “ill-gotten” would make any party targeted by the act “feel uncomfortable.”

“Also, given that the draft bill only aims to address assets obtained before 1987, it is apparently not applicable to all parties,” Wang said.

She said that ensuring openness and transparency of the assets of political parties necessitated the promulgation of an act that is fair and covers all political parties.

Responding to criticism that the KMT has never attended cross-party negotiations, Wang said the DPP has only held one negotiation on the draft bill on ill-gotten party assets.

“In previous negotiations at the legislature, the DPP never gave an inch. If that is the kind of attitude the DPP wants to take, we will still be where we are right now even after 10 negotiations,” Wang said.

Nevertheless, Wang said the KMT would undoubtedly attend if the DPP is willing to allow room for discussion and revision of the draft bill.

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