Sun, Jul 24, 2016 - Page 3 News List

NPP’s Hsu defends anti-KMT stance

NOT STEPPING BACK:The NPP did not enter the legislature to be on good terms with the KMT, party caucus convener Hsu Yung-ming said after tense negotiations

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

New Power Party (NPP) caucus convener Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) yesterday commented on Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming’s (柯建銘) criticism of the NPP’s reluctance to negotiate with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus.

The legislature on Friday negotiated a draft bill dealing with ill-gotten party assets, which the DPP vowed to pass in the extraordinary session taking place from Wednesday to Friday next week.

The NPP walked out of the negotiations twice to protest the KMT caucus’ demands, to which Ker said after the negotiations that if the NPP keeps labeling cross-caucus negotiations, which are recorded and made public, as meetings in which shady compromises are made, the caucuses “would have a hard time getting along.”

Hsu yesterday on Facebook said that he respects Ker’s experience and skills as a legislator, but added that “the NPP did not come into the legislature to be on good terms with the KMT.”

“The bill dealing with ill-gotten party assets has been reviewed by a legislative committee and has gone through cross-caucus negotiations [before the one on Friday]. The KMT caucus’ action was simply a tactic to delay the bill’s passage,” Hsu said.

“It is not like the NPP has never participated in cross-caucus negotiations. However, the KMT’s ambivalent remarks left us disconcerted, so we asked the KMT caucus to put it in writing that they would not later disavow the consensus reached in [Friday’s] negotiations,” he added.

“The KMT caucus refused, saying the party had given orders not to underwrite any promises. If that was the case, there was no reason for the NPP to waste time negotiating with it,” Hsu said.

He said that while the negotiations were said to be over, “there is no resolution made or endorsed by caucus members for the legislative speaker to announce.”

Speaking after Friday’s negotiations, Ker said that KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) told him that the remarks made during the negotiations count, because the meeting was recorded, despite the KMT headquarters’ order not to underwrite any statements.

The articles that were accepted by all caucuses include one that prohibits government agencies, nonprofit organizations, groups and individuals from evading, refusing or obstructing an investigation, and an article that sets the fines for such violations.

The caucuses also agreed to discuss the draft bill article-by-article, have caucus representatives talk about the draft bill in general and about each article, and vote on disputed articles.

Ker said that he expects the draft bill to pass tomorrow or on Tuesday, adding that the negotiations were aimed at streamlining the legislative proceedings, which would be protracted if the KMT caucus decided to propose revision proposals for each article.

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