Fri, Sep 08, 2017 - Page 3 News List

KMT legislators vow ‘honeymoon period’ for Lai

By Chen yu-fu, Cheng Hung-ta and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Legislators across party lines yesterday commented on premier-designate William Lai (賴清德) ahead of his swearing-in today, suggesting issues that Lai should focus and publicly speculating about the chemistry between Lai and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus secretary-general Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said the legislators were prepared to grant Lai a brief “honeymoon period” to familiarize himself with the job.

Provided no large issues — or power blackouts — occur between now and Lai’ s expected report to the Legislative Yuan on Sept. 22 to open its second session, the KMT would not attempt to block motions at the legislature, Lin said.

The KMT caucus is to meet with Lai next week and express its concerns about the “one fixed day-off and one flexible rest day” policy, energy policies and other matters, Lin said.

KMT caucus vice secretary-general Lee Yan-hsiu (李彥秀) also commented on the potential for conflict between Tsai and Lai, saying that Lai had his own mind and would not accept the role of executor of Tsai’s policy, as former premier Lin Chuan (林全) had.

Time would tell how the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) “two suns” would work together, she said.

Now that Lai is the head of the executive branch, the KMT caucus would necessarily have to test Lai’s stance on cross-strait relations and foreign diplomacy, Lee said, adding: “We shall see if the new premier will stick to his stance that he ‘feels an affinity toward China while loving Taiwan’ or revert back to supporting Taiwan independence.”

Lai made the comment about China during an interview in July, adding that his stance on cross-strait relations is clear.

He was in favor of “Taiwanese independence and that stance will not change, no matter what position I hold,” Lai said in the interview.

Meanwhile, Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) said interaction between Tsai Ing-wen and Lai was not as stiff as it is rumored, adding that the two simply had different personalities.

President Tsai has a softer personality and likes to make jokes, which contrasts with Lai’s seriousness, Tsai Chi-chang said.

However he said he was certain that Lai would stand “100 percent” behind Tsai Ing-wen and her policies, despite their different characters.

Responding to radio host Clara Chou (周玉蔻), who asked whether Lai’s “unyielding personality” would create communication problems with Tsai Ing-wen, Tsai Chi-chang used his interaction with his wife as a metaphor for what he believed interactions between the president and the new premier would be.

When he had a difference of opinion with his wife, he would state his reasoning on the subject, but would in the end concede to his wife, he said.

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