Sat, Apr 29, 2017 - Page 3 News List

KMT bill review protest paralyzes the legislature

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus yesterday occupies the speaker’s podium at the legislature to protest Wednesday’s review of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program bill.

Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday occupied the legislative speaker’s podium to protest against the review of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program bill, which was claimed to have been passed amid chaos on Wednesday, despite the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) agreeing to hold a second review next week.

KMT legislators disrupted a general assembly meeting early yesterday morning by occupying the speaker’s podium, shouting slogans and putting up placards criticizing the passing of the bill on Wednesday, and calling for the retraction and redrafting of the bill by the Executive Yuan.

“NT$800 billion plan was rammed through in a minute,” “Stop pork barreling, return and redraft,” “The joint committee review failed to follow due procedure” were some of the slogans displayed.

“[The KMT’s occupation of] the podium is to show that the KMT caucus is accountable to the public when supervising the bill and ensuring that the money will be well spent,” KMT caucus convener Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) said at the podium.

He accused the DPP caucus of “violently” ending Wednesday’s review without following due legislative procedure, announcing the completion of the review of the bill while ignoring KMT legislators and declaring that there was no need for cross-caucus negotiations.

Sufin demanded that the Executive Yuan “plan a budget for only the next three years, rather than eight years, as her [President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文)] term ends in three years” and to allocate the funds in accordance with realistic requirements.

“We demand that the bill be returned to the Executive Yuan and be redrafted on the basis of the views of experts expressed at the six public hearings [held last week],” Sufin said.

The KMT caucus also demanded that Premier Lin Chuan (林全) produce a special report on the program to the Legislative Yuan.

Sufin demanded that the DPP caucus apologize and said as the KMT caucus welcomes a second review, but “we do not want it to happen as early as Monday.”

DPP Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩), the Economics Committee convener who presided over Wednesday’s review, said on Thursday that she would arrange another review of the bill on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday next week, acknowledging that there were indeed flaws in Wednesday’s proceedings.

“On March 31, we all gave our word that six public hearings were to be held and then there would be no intentional obstruction of legislative proceedings [when the bill was reviewed],” DPP caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said.

He praised Chiu for her “moral courage” to concede that there were flaws in the procedure and deciding to restage the review, calling on the KMT caucus to maintain a consistent stance.

The legislative session was adjourned in the early afternoon without dealing with a single item on the agenda.

Meanwhile, the New Power Party (NPP) caucus called for the Executive Yuan to withdraw its bill and conduct a re-evaluation.

NPP Executive Chairman Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) criticized the Executive Yuan for having ignored the National Development Council before approving the plan, while criticizing the bill as “crude” for failing to specify review standards and accountability mechanisms.

Additional reporting by Abraham Gerber

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top