Thu, Jul 21, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Legislators vote for extra session

COMPLICATED:Huang Kuo-chang said it was difficult for him to vote for the DPP’s agenda, reluctantly voting in favor to expedite the handling of ill-gotten party assets

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Hsu Shu-hua holds up a placard to show the party’s opposition during a vote at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The legislature yesterday voted to call an extraordinary legislative session and has listed a draft bill to deal with ill-gotten party assets on the top of tomorrow’s discussion agenda.

A meeting of the general assembly was yesterday morning held to decide whether an extraordinary session would be called.

Before the meeting started, the legislature observed a minute’s silence to pay tribute to the 26 people who died in a tour bus accident on National Freeway No. 2 in Taoyuan on Tuesday.

As a cross-caucus negotiation convened before the meeting failed to achieve a consensus on whether the extra session would be called and if called, what would be placed on the agenda, the issues were put to votes.

The legislature passed the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus’ motion to call an extraordinary session from yesterday through July 29, with a vote of 71 to 25.

The DPP caucus’ proposal to have the bill to deal with ill-gotten party assets placed as the first item to be processed on the extra session’s agenda, followed by budget bills for state-run enterprises, also cleared the legislature, with a vote of 71 to 26.

Also included in the DPP’s proposal was a motion to hold an extra committee meeting for the review of amendments to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法) regarding one fixed day off and one flexible “rest day,” which is backed by the Executive Yuan, but disputed by labor groups.

A proposal submitted by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus — which called for President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to report to the legislature on the issue of a ruling by an international tribunal on the South China Sea, Premier Lin Chuan (林全) to report on the recent lifting of a ban on beef imports from Canada and putting KMT Legislator John Wu’s (吳志揚) Labor Standards Act amendment proposal for two fixed days off on the discussion agenda — was vetoed.

The committee review for the Labor Standards Act amendment bill is to be held today.

The party caucuses also agreed that the Transportation Committee should hold a meeting today for Ministry of Transportation and Communications officials to report on the tour bus accident.

New Power Party Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) later yesterday wrote on Facebook that he had “complicated feelings” when he voted for the agenda proposed by the DPP caucus.

“It was a hard decision [for me] to support the [Executive Yuan’s version of] amendments to the Labor Standards Act, a bill that concerns the rights of a vast group of workers, reviewed in the committee without holding public hearings for it,” he said.

Huang added that since the vote on the agenda was a “package vote,” he reluctantly voted for it, as he wants to pass the bill to deal with ill-gotten party assets as soon as possible.

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