Sat, Sep 15, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Legislative session to start next week with report by Lai

URGENT ATTENTION:Lawmakers highlighted issues such as residency cards for Taiwanese in China and alleged bias by civil servants as priorities

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party legislators hold up signs that read “Oppose” to protest a New Power Party motion at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

The new legislative session is to start on Friday next week with Premier William Lai (賴清德) giving an administrative report and fielding questions from lawmakers.

Lawmakers yesterday met to decide on a date for the upcoming session.

Apart from reviewing the budget for central government agencies, New Power Party (NPP) caucus convener Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said that legislators are concerned about a range of recent issues, including Beijing’s “unilateral” implementation of residency cards for Taiwanese working or studying in China to have their fingerprints taken, response measures to prevent flooding and the neutrality of the Transitional Justice Committee.

While the Mainland Affairs Council has said it would ask holders of the Chinese residency permits to register their information with the council, it would not be mandatory, Hsu said, urging it to adopt a harder stance and proposing a draft bill to address the safety of Taiwanese holders of the permits.

The NPP caucus tendered a motion for the session to begin yesterday afternoon and for Lai to immediately give an administrative report, saying that those issues require urgent attention.

People First Party caucus whip Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said that Taiwan being sidelined in the international community, flood problems and the Transitional Justice Committee fiasco are issues that require rational discussion, urging legislators across party lines to avoid confrontation to better meet public expectations.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus deputy secretary-general John Wu (吳志揚) said he hoped the session would focus on rectifying the nation’s democracy.

Government bodies have acted undemocratically and unconstitutionally to obstruct or reject referendum proposals and requests for constitutional interpretations submitted by the KMT, Wu said.

He asked whether there are other undisclosed meetings like the one in which then-Transitional Justice Committee deputy chairman Chang Tien-chin (張天欽) allegedly proposed drawing up a lustration law to target former New Taipei City deputy mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), the KMT’s New Taipei City mayoral candidate.

The prosecutor-general should investigate whether Chang acted under the orders of senior officials in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration, he said.

The DPP caucus hopes to set the starting date for the new session on Friday to accommodate party caucuses that plan to send delegates on a fact-finding mission to the UN next week, DPP caucus secretary-general Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) said.

The DPP caucus would also arrange for Lai to deliver an administrative report on Friday and a report on the government’s response measures during floods on Sept. 25, and for the premier and other officials to attend a question-and-answer session on both days, Cheng said.

After being put to a vote, the DPP’s motion was approved, while the NPP’s was vetoed.

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