Sat, Aug 26, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Legislative vote proceeds despite KMT objections

LONG PROCESS:Lawmakers voted against at least 75 KMT motions last night, each of which proposed to cut the infrastructure plan budget by 0.1 to 1 percentage point

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators tussle in the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday over a vote for the budget for the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program.

Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times

Lawmakers yesterday voted on motions on the budget for the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program even as the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucuses were in disagreement over how to address the motions.

KMT caucus secretary-general Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said that during “informal talks” before a negotiation scheduled yesterday morning, the DPP caucus rejected the KMT’s demand that all of its motions be voted on and withdrew the window of negotiation.

That prompted the KMT to reverse its decision to reduce its number of motions from about 10,400 to 1,200, Lin said.

“Only under one circumstance would we have reduced our motions: the DPP agreeing to vote on all our motions,” he added.

He accused Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) of attempting to collude with the DPP caucus to push the budget requests through a second reading by skipping all motions filed by the KMT, the New Power Party (NPP) and the People First Party, and only voting on 101 motions tendered by the DPP.

The DPP’s premise is that “a topic should not be voted on more than once,” which is “unacceptable,” as there is a “world of difference” between the KMT’s and the DPP’s motions, Lin said.

Even if the DPP’s logic stands, it should not put its own motions ahead of the KMT’s, which seek to slash or freeze larger proportions of the budgets, he added.

When informed that general motions tabled by the KMT were being addressed as he spoke, Lin said the DPP only did so to prevent its actions from “looking too dirty.”

The general motions dealt with the downsizing of the entire budget for the first phase of the infrastructure program, which totals NT$108.9 billion (US$3.6 billion).

Once the DPP finishes voting on motions that address chapters and sections in budget requests, which address projects and subprojects under the program respectively, it would skip all motions filed by other parties, Lin said.

The DPP’s move would likely be illegal, he said, urging Su to refrain from working with the DPP and becoming a “criminal.”

Su said the motions would be reviewed according to the law.

Lawmakers spent more than eight hours voting on general motions tendered by the KMT.

The first general motion sought to cut 99.9 percent off the budget, with each one that followed seeking to reduce the budget by an additional 0.1 percentage point.

After about 50 motions, the increment was increased to 1 percentage point.

Each vote was repeated once at the KMT’s request.

At press time last night, DPP lawmakers had vetoed 75 motions tabled by the KMT.

Su said that voting would be completed on Thursday next week at the earliest.

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