A meeting yesterday between Vice Premier Lin Hsi-yao (林錫耀) and the People First Party (PFP) caucus over an upcoming infrastructure budget review raised speculation over the party’s role in a no-confidence vote against the Cabinet.
Lin visited PFP lawmakers to negotiate over the review of proposed budgets for the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, as the party had complained about insufficient communication with the Cabinet.
The timing of the meeting was sensitive, as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) was allegedly planning a no-confidence vote against Premier Lin Chuan (林全) following a nationwide blackout on Tuesday last week.
The PFP is a potential KMT ally, as the 35-seat KMT caucus must seek support from three more lawmakers to meet the no-confidence vote requirement.
“Although we are a small party, we can sometimes exercise great influence. I think you understand what I am referring to, Mr Vice Premier,” PFP caucus chief executive Chow Chen Hsiu-hsia (周陳秀霞) told Lin Hsi-yao ahead of the closed-door meeting.
However, Lin Hsi-yao and the caucus denied that the meeting was about the speculated no-confidence motion.
Lin Hsi-yao said that the meeting — which was scheduled for last week, but was postponed to yesterday due to the power outage — was about the review of infrastructure budgets.
Lin Hsi-yao said the Cabinet’s communication with lawmakers about the program was admittedly inadequate, so he met with PFP lawmakers face-to-face.
The no-confidence motion was just speculation, PFP caucus convener Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said, adding that the KMT had not approached the PFP over the issue.
Lin Chuan’s presentation yesterday at the Legislative Yuan about the power outage should decide whether a no-confidence vote would be launched, Lee said.
“There is no ground for a no-confidence vote if the public appreciates [Lin Chuan’s report], but if it is unacceptable and unorganized, there will be further issues,” Lee said.
The PFP earlier had complained that the Executive Yuan ignored the party’s requests for information relating to the infrastructure budgets between legislative sessions and was slow in answering their questions, Lee added.
Meanwhile, Lin Chuan said the Cabinet respected lawmakers’ rights to launch a no-confidence vote, but added: “The PFP has no intention to endorse a no-confidence motion.”
The meeting was planned before the speculation over such a vote to discuss topics raised by PFP lawmakers, Lin Chuan said.
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