Tue, Sep 12, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Premier urges better cooperation between branches

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Members of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus shake hands with Premier William Lai, third right, while presenting him with a plaque at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday. The plaque reads: “With great virtue even the most arduous tasks can be achieved.”

Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

Premier William Lai (賴清德) yesterday called for better negotiation and collaboration between the executive and legislative branches of the government as he visited the legislative caucuses to seek support.

Lai led Vice Premier Shih Jun-ji (施俊吉) and Executive Yuan Secretary-General Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰) in a meeting with Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) and Deputy Speaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) ahead of the next legislative session beginning on Friday next week.

Su asked Lai to prioritize economic development and amend imperfect legislation, and said the Cabinet has to negotiate with the opposition parties on a more regular basis to prevent confrontations.

Lai promised improved communication with opposition parties to seek mutual understanding on major legislation and pledged to supervise the Cabinet with his legislative experiences.

Lai asked Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers for their support in negotiating with opposition parties to smooth out the communication between the Legislative Yuan and the Cabinet.

“The assistance of the legislature is indispensable to achieve immediate results and the DPP caucus is a key player in providing help,” Lai said.

“We will provide the most solid support for Premier Lai,” DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said.

Lai is the premier who best understands the Legislative Yuan as he served 12 years as a lawmaker and was the best chief executive the DPP ever had, Ker said.

“The DPP went through its most difficult opposition period when Lai was the caucus chief executive,” Ker said. “He understands the difficulties of government administration and of how opposition parties can challenge the ruling party, so he is the premier with the deepest understanding of the Legislative Yuan in the nation’s history.”

“He is also the premier who is facing the greatest challenges, because the ecosystem of the Legislative Yuan has changed. The challenges come from the opposition parties and communication is key in the legislature as cross-caucus negotiation has become transparent,” Ker said.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Lin Te-fu (林德福) asked Lai not to be “the president’s chief of staff,” but lead the Cabinet with professionalism and discreet division of labor.

Lin asked him to prioritize drug prevention and low fertility rates that have become increasingly pressing issues.

KMT caucus vice secretary-general Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀) asked the premier to revise a controversial labor policy and ensure labor rights during the course of his term.

The People First Party also asked the premier to make the labor policy, food safety, drug prevention and cross-strait issues his top priorities.

Lai urged cross-party collaboration and said that the Cabinet would put forward pragmatic implementation measures for labor policy, energy policy, cross-strait relations, economic development, talent retention and food safety.

The New Power Party (NPP) caucus asked the premier to prioritize legislation proposed by the party, including a draft whistle-blower protection act, a set of more stringent revolving door rules in financial institutions, a draft minimum wage act and a draft media monopoly prevention act.

NPP Legislator Kawlo Iyun Pacidal asked the premier to speed up efforts to reinstate Aboriginal rights, citing Lai’s experiences of restoring the rights of plains Aborigines in Tainan, where he served as mayor.

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