Tue, Nov 21, 2017 - Page 3 News List

NPP blocks amendment review

PROCEDURE:NPP Legislator Hsu Yung-ming demanded that two DPP lawmakers who did not forfeit their reconsideration rights do so before the review can continue

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

New Power Party Legislator Hsu Yung-ming, right, breaches normal legislative procedure by standing next to the speaker’s podium to halt a review of the government’s draft amendment to the Labor Standards Act at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) yesterday obstructed the legislative review of a draft amendment to the Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法), citing a potential procedural flaw, while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus said that the review was completely legal.

During a plenary legislative session on Friday, the amendment passed the first reading and was referred to the legislature’s Economics Committee and the Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee for reviews that were scheduled to start yesterday.

However, during the joint committee review, Hsu raised a procedural objection and prevented the review.

Hsu said that committee reviews should not have begun until Tuesday next week, when a legally required reconsideration period ends.

During the period, lawmakers qualified to raise a motion for reconsideration are allowed to do so, but reviews are not allowed unless all qualified lawmakers agree to end the reconsideration period early, Hsu said.

According to the procedural rules of the Legislative Yuan, lawmakers who were present at the last review of a bill and who did not raise objection to it during the review are qualified to call for reconsideration, and the endorsement of at least 20 such lawmakers is required to pass a motion for reconsideration.

A total of 60 DPP lawmakers voted to approve the amendment during the first reading on Friday and 35 legislators from the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the NPP voted against it. Therefore, only the 60 DPP lawmakers are qualified to request reconsideration.

Because 58 of the DPP legislators signed an agreement to forfeit their reconsideration rights, the Legislative Yuan scheduled committee reviews for yesterday.

However, Hsu said the reviews were illegal unless the two remaining DPP lawmakers also signed such agreements.

“I will leave [the speaker’s podium] if the two lawmakers signed the agreement,” Hsu said as he refused to step away from the podium and prevented the review from starting.

While at the podium to delay the review, Hsu also criticized the DPP for what he said was a secret deal with the KMT over the legislation.

The DPP has agreed to shelve a draft act on the promotion of transitional justice if the KMT does not obstruct review of the amendment to the labor law, Hsu said.

The DPP caucus said the committee reviews were legitimate even without the agreement from the two DPP lawmakers, because the two could not reach the 20-people threshold if they were to request reconsideration.

The reviews were arranged in line with procedural rules and there were no irregularities, the DPP caucus said.

“Do not deny the procedural legitimacy of the review out of a sense of personal heroism,” said DPP Legislator Lin Ching-yi (林靜儀), who was to chair the reviews yesterday.

Following an 11-hour standoff, the review eventually started at 8pm after DPP lawmakers forcefully removed Hsu from the podium.

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