Sat, Sep 02, 2017 - Page 3 News List

DPP’s budget handling is ‘illegal’: former speaker

PROCEDURES:It would have taken at least three months to vote on the KMT’s motions and the legislature would have been paralyzed, DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming said

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan’s (蘇嘉全) handling of the budget review for the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program was unprecedented and illegal, former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday.

Prior to the review, there had been three incidents in which budget requests proceeded to committee review without lawmakers first questioning the premier, said Wang of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

The question-and-answer sessions were bypassed according to conclusions reached during cross-caucus negotiations, unlike the latest incident, in which no talks had taken place before the budgets illegally advanced to committee review, he said.

When citing rules governing legislative proceedings, the Constitution should have priority over laws, which themselves have priority over Legislative Yuan regulations, Wang said.

Su, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) member, first addressed motions tabled by the DPP caucus based on the “first tendered, first reviewed” principle stipulated in Article 53 of the legislature’s “meeting regulations.”

This was a breach of the law, as the regulations are the second-lowest ranking law — next to “precedents” — among the rules governing legislative proceedings, Wang said, adding that they should only be referenced in situations not covered by higher-ranking rules.

Su’s citation of the “one issue should not be voted on twice” principle stipulated in the Legislative Yuan’s regulations on legislative sessions to justify the dismissal of more than 10,000 motions filed by the KMT was also a mistake, as the principle only applies to motions that have been vetoed, Wang said.

Su’s putting to vote a DPP a motion that sought to bar the KMT caucus from filing a motion to break up meetings was an infraction under Article 26 of the yuan’s regulations on legislative sessions, he added.

The KMT refrained from compromising the legislative system even when it held the majority, because it knew the legislature, which represents the people, is the embodiment of democracy, Wang said.

“People in the future will come to a fair conclusion on the way the budget review was handled when they look back,” he added.

DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said that the DPP caucus had made strenuous efforts to negotiate with the KMT and complied with more than 2,500 votes — a record in the legislature’s history — before dismissing the remainder of the KMT’s motions.

If all the KMT’s motions had been voted on eight times like those dealing with the budgets were, it would have taken at least three months and the legislature would have been paralyzed, which the DPP could not allow, he said.

Legislative Yuan Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉) defended Su’s handling of the proceedings, saying its legitimacy could be “substantiated” and was therefore “definitely” legal.

Additional reporting by Chen Yu-fu

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