Wed, Aug 30, 2017 - Page 3 News List

‘Obstructions’ could hurt sports reform

SPEAKERS ACCUSED:KMT lawmakers went to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office to file charges of official misconduct against Su Jia-chyuan and Tsai Chi-chang

By Yang Chun-hui, Cheng Hung-ta and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

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

This story has been viewed 3260 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top