Sat, May 13, 2017 - Page 3 News List

KMT delays infrastructure talks again

’LOOKING BAD’:KMT lawmakers dissented to a proposal by its own caucus as part of apparent efforts to halt proceedings, which never resumed after a noon recess

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Arthur Chen yesterday in Taipei presents the results of an opinion poll on President Tsai Ing-wen’s approval rating.

Photo: CNA

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday again obstructed the legislative general assembly meeting to protest against the government’s Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program bill and also released poll results saying that 43.3 percent of respondents view the plan as “unhelpful.”

The general assembly meeting yesterday stalled after the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and KMT caucuses blocked each other’s proposals to send the review back to committee.

The KMT caucus slowed down the meeting by repeatedly asking for floor votes, but when the DPP caucus did not oppose the return of a DPP lawmaker’s motion to the Procedure Committee for next week’s agenda-setting — a move proposed by the KMT caucus — KMT lawmakers in the main chamber voiced dissent to its own caucus’ proposal to return the motion.

The aim was apparently to slow down proceedings by conducting as many votes as possible.

Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌), who presided over the meeting yesterday and had on Friday last week already complained about the stalling tactics, asked the KMT caucus to “first discuss among [themselves]” before making such moves as they look “awfully bad.”

Amid the back-and-forth between Tsai and KMT lawmakers, KMT Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) said that the KMT is a “democratic and diverse” party in an attempt to explain why some KMT lawmakers disagreed with its caucus’ decision.

Tsai then called for an early noon break for the KMT caucus to “sort things out,” but the meeting never resumed.

Separately yesterday, KMT Legislator Arthur Chen (陳宜民), with the pro-KMT Taiwan People Power News, published the results of a poll conducted by All Dimensions Public Research Inc.

Of those polled, 41.2 percent believe that the plan is helpful, while 43.3 percent disagreed.

People from the region comprised of Yunlin, Chiayi and Tainan were the most supportive of the plan, with 55.7 percent considering it helpful, while people from central Taiwan (Taichung, Changhua and Nantou) had the most doubts, with 48.8 percent saying it is not helpful.

The poll also reported high disapproval ratings of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Premier Lin Chuan (林全).

Tsai’s disapproval rating was 55.6 percent and approval rating was 40.4 percent, while Lin’s disapproval rating was 60.7 percent and only 32 percent of respondents approved of his performance.

DPP lawmakers from central Taiwan also held a news conference yesterday calling on KMT lawmakers from the region not to block the infrastructure plan.

Legislator Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅) from Taichung, presenting a petition initiated by Taichung Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) asking for support for local infrastructure construction, said that KMT legislators based in the city — including Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), Yen Kuan-heng (顏寬恆) and Lu Yen-hsiu (盧燕秀) — have all signed the petition.

Changhua Legislators Hung Tsung-yi (洪宗熠) and Chen Su-yueh (陳素月) also criticized KMT Legislator Wang Hui-mei (王惠美) for blocking the plan in the legislature when they supported local development projects during the president’s visit to the county last month.

Additional reporting by Tseng Wei-chen

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