Mon, Jun 17, 2019 - Page 3 News List

DPP offers date for provisional session

DIFFERENT VERSIONS:The Executive Yuan has expressed its support for draft changes to the Referendum Act proposed by the Central Election Commission

By Lee Hsin-fang and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Police officers stand guard at the main entrance to the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on Jan. 28.

Photo: Lin Liang-sheng, Taipei Times

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus has proposed holding a provisional legislative session before July 5 to pass an amendment to the Referendum Act (公投法) and other legislation.

The caucus has prioritized proposed amendments to the Act for Industrial Innovation (產業創新條例), the Factory Management Act (工廠管理輔導法), the Income Tax Act (所得稅法) and the Customs Import Tariff Act (海關進口稅則), among other legislation, a source with knowledge of the matter said yesterday.

The caucus also hopes to pass legislative restrictions on retired military officers visiting China and approve the nomination of four grand justice candidates, the source said.

Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) on Saturday said he would attend a caucus meeting today to help facilitate communication and establish consensus among DPP lawmakers on the proposed amendments, the source said.

A proposed amendment that would make it illegal for retired officers or government officials to participate in political activities in China or engage in “behavior deemed harmful to national honor and dignity” has passed an initial reading at the legislature, the source said.

The amendment is considered urgent to protect national security in the face of changes in cross-strait ties, they said.

The amendments to the Factory Management Act aim to legalize factories on farmland and address the concerns of environmentalists, the source said.

Two main amendments to the act would bolster the management of factories identified as the worst polluters, and would prohibit the construction of factories in water-quality protection areas, they said.

The Executive Yuan has expressed its support for draft amendments to the Referendum Act proposed by the Central Election Commission, but a majority of DPP lawmakers have said that they prefer amendments proposed by DPP Legislator Chiang Chieh-an (蔣絜安), the source said.

Both versions would require voters to provide photocopies of their national ID cards when signing a referendum petition — a requirement that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) opposes.

Some DPP legislators, as well as some social advocacy groups, have also expressed concerns over the requirement, but most DPP lawmakers support the proposal.

Chiang’s version differs from the Executive Yuan’s in that it calls for referendums to be held separately from elections and only once every two years.

A draft foreign repatriation act that aims to mitigate risks facing China-based Taiwanese firms that plan to transfer capital back home amid an ongoing trade dispute between the US and China is expected to pass a third reading during the provisional session.

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