The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) prolonged obstructionism at the Legislative Yuan could indefinitely delay plans to amend the National Sports Act (國民體育法), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus secretary-general Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said yesterday.
Since the KMT has “closed the door” on negotiations, lawmakers might not finish approving the budgets for first-stage projects under the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program until tomorrow afternoon or evening, Lee said.
“We might not have the chance to deliberate on the National Sports Act amendments that many folks are looking forward to,” he said.
KMT lawmakers are demanding a total of eight votes to pass each motion — four for the initial consideration and four for the reconsideration — which has caused significant delays to the legislative agenda, Lee said.
The DPP remains open to negotiations even if the KMT is not, Lee said.
DPP lawmakers are prepared to work around the clock to deal with the motions and the legislature will shorten break periods if necessary, he added.
“If they insist to go down this path, blocking passage of the National Sports Act, the blame will be on the KMT,” Lee said.
Meanwhile, KMT lawmakers pressed charges of official misconduct against Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) and Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌), accusing them of refusing to address the party’s motions.
Su’s announcement of a rule barring a second vote on the same issue is illegal because the KMT’s motions either propose changes to the size of a budget for a specific item or changes to the items themselves, which by law makes them new motions, Yen Yung-ching (顏永青), an attorney for the caucus, told a news conference.
“Citing the principle of ‘the same issue should not be voted on twice’ as an excuse to block the voting on those proposals is a violation of the law,” Yen said.
KMT caucus secretary-general Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) and several colleagues filed the charges at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office.
“The votes are illegitimate. The speakers are illegitimate,” they chanted before entering the building.
KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said Su and Tsai had overstepped their authority by treating KMT lawmakers as their subordinates.
“Su’s recent conduct shows that the legislature is dead and democracy is dead. He will go down in history for turning Taiwan into a dictatorship and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) into Hitler,” Lai said.
KMT caucus convener Lin Te-fu (林德福) accused the DPP of violating the spirit of the Act Governing the Legislative Yuan’s Power (立法院職權行使法) and the Budget Act (預算法) in trying to force the infrastructure’s budgets through review.
“The [DPP’s] practice of putting the whole thing to a single vote neuters the right of lawmakers to propose bills, and sets a negative precedent. The public and the opposition lawmakers will not stand for this,” Lin said.
However, Su said the way he presides over legislative sessions conforms to legislative procedure, as shown through the Council of Grand Justices’ constitutional interpretations of legislative issues as well as the works of former legislative speaker Chester Chou (周萬來).
“The KMT caucus has the right to press charges. I respect their right to do so,” Su said.
Additional reporting by Hsieh Chun-lin
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan