Wed, May 10, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Legislature stalls on KMT objections

DISRUPTIONS:After KMT legislators objected to a motion their own caucus had filed, the deputy legislative speaker adjourned the meeting aimed at reviewing scores of bills

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang raises his index finger as he tries to proceed with the agenda in the main chamber of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday despite disruptions by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators.

Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

The Legislative Yuan’s plenary session hit a snag yesterday as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers disrupted the meeting to protest against the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Plan.

The plenary session was scheduled to review hundreds of proposed bills and amendments, but KMT lawmakers filed numerous objections to paralyze the proceedings.

As Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) read out the agenda, KMT Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) raised an objection to an amendment to the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例), which sent the proposal back to the Procedure Committee.

KMT lawmakers even objected to an objection the party caucus had filed.

Tsai adjourned the session after it became apparent that the KMT would continue to disrupt the proceedings, saying the party was “going too far” in objecting its own motion.

The aim of the KMT’s tactics was to force the Cabinet to withdraw the infrastructure plan, which is being reviewed by the Economics Committee.

The eight-year NT$882.4 billion (US$29.2 billion) plan to develop rail lines, water infrastructure, renewable energy, digital infrastructure and urban development has been criticized for hasty decisionmaking and unnecessary railway projects.

Citing a report that had been submitted to the legislature by the National Development Council in March — which outlined a four-year development project that bears a striking resemblance to the Forward-looking plan — KMT caucus convener Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) asked how a four-year project turned into an eight-year one in such a short time and demanded that the plan be sent back to the Executive Yuan.

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus accused the KMT of inconsistency in opposing the plan.

Even as the KMT caucus was trying to boycott the infrastructure plan, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) was meeting with local lawmakers to seek their support in securing funds from the project for infrastructure in his municipality, DPP Legislator Su Chiao-hui (蘇巧慧) said.

While boycotting the plan, the KMT did not specifically oppose any of the infrastructure projects listed in it, DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊毅) said.

“The KMT cannot just say it does not want the plan. We are asking it to make specific suggestions about which rail projects are not necessary” so the DPP and KMT can hold meaningful discussions, Lee said.

Six hearings have been held since the Executive Yuan submitted the plan in March, but the KMT has boycotted its review without presenting any alternative proposals, DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-chin (葉宜津) said.

The KMT’s inability to unify its conflicting moves was due to its chairperson election this month, since the candidates have differing considerations, Yeh said.

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