Wed, Mar 20, 2019 - Page 3 News List

NPP lawmaker rebukes deputy speaker for abruptly ending legislative session

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

New Power Party Legislator Huang Kuo-chang, front left, shouts at Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang, back right, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), at the Legislative Yuan yesterday.

Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

New Power Party (NPP) Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) yesterday lashed out at Deputy Legislative Speaker Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) for ending a legislative plenary session when lawmakers were supposed to review lawmakers’ recommendations for stiffer penalties for drunk driving.

According to the Legislative Yuan’s agenda, lawmakers were scheduled to review amendments to the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act (道路交通管理處罰條例).

However, at about 10:30am Tsai announced the adjournment of the session, prompting Huang to raise his voice at him.

“On what grounds are you adjourning the meeting?” Huang asked.

Tsai said that lawmakers had not reached a consensus on the details of proposed amendments during cross-caucus negotiations, so they needed further discussion.

Huang said that the lack of a consensus should not stop the proposals from being reviewed.

After all of the other lawmakers had left, Huang hung a banner on the speaker’s podium that read: “Stop delaying the prevention of drunk driving” and sat in the speaker’s seat in protest.

Huang then took his grievances online in a Facebook livestream, which Tsai sought to explain his decision in a separate livestream.

Prior to the session, the NPP had tendered a motion calling for proposed amendments to the act to be brought forward for review first, but Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers voted it down and billed the proposals as the 14th item on the agenda, Huang said.

However, he said that the proposals had cleared a preliminary review last month.

After accusing Tsai, a DPP member, of breaching legislative rules, Huang said that if the DPP caucus did not want to review the proposals yesterday, it should not have put them on the agenda.

Tsai said that drunk driving is a high-profile issue that he cares deeply about, but he could not breach legislative procedures.

Rather than directing netizens’ ire to his Facebook page, the NPP caucus should have made arrangements with other caucuses to engage in official or private negotiations over the proposals, Tsai said.

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