Sat, May 13, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Legislative Yuan’s discipline group not working: watchdog

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislators Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) and Yosi Takun (孔文吉) should be referred to the legislature’s Discipline Committee for throwing flour and water during meetings, Citizen’s Congress Watch said yesterday, condemning the “weaponization” of legislative scuffles.

“The Discipline Committee needs to function,” Citizen’s Congress Watch executive director Chang Hung-lin (張宏林) said, criticizing the lack of disciplinary cases during this session.

Sufin threw flour during scuffles over a review of the Executive Yuan’s Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, while Yosi threw Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) to the floor during a review of the government’s pension reform proposals earlier this month.

“There should not be weaponization or slander,” Citizen Congress Watch department of policy director Allen Tian (田君陽) said.

“If Sufin acted like this on the MRT [Taipei Mass Rapid Transit system], what would be the result? Why does it suddenly become acceptable if he is inside the Legislative Yuan,” Tian said.

The Council of Grand Justices’ Constitutional Interpretation No. 435 ruled that bodily actions interfering with others are not covered by a legislator’s right to free speech, he said.

“These actions are already beyond the pale of the normal exercise of legislative responsibilities and are prosecutable under Criminal Code,” he said.

No incidents have been referred to the Discipline Committee this session, he said, adding that no legislator has been disciplined since 2009.

Tian stopped short of calling for police action, stating that would potentially stifle debate.

While the speaker has the authority to order police action, the power has not been exercised since shortly before the first legislative elections in more than 40 years were held in 1992, he said.

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