Mon, Nov 18, 2019 - Page 3 News List

NPP slams failed DPP promises

MAKING ‘EXCUSES’:Draft amendments to the Mining Act are unlikely to be passed in this legislative session and no time is left to pass bills cracking down on CCP proxies

By Wu Shu-wei  /  Staff reporter

New Power Party (NPP) Chairman Hsu Yung-ming, third left, and NPP Legislator Huang Kuo-chang, second right, hold a news conference in Taipei yesterday to announce that the party is fielding lawyer Chang Yi, third right, for the second electoral district in Pingtung County.

Photo: Wu Shu-wei, Taipei Times

The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday accused the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of failing to deliver on its policy commitments after planned amendments to mining and cross-strait laws failed to pass during this legislative session.

The DPP has been using all sorts of excuses to not move forward with important draft amendments, while requesting a three-week recess from Dec. 18 for its election campaigns, the NPP’s legislative caucus wrote on Facebook yesterday.

“If the DPP cannot deliver on campaign promises it made four years ago, why should it deserve a legislative majority [for another four years]?” it asked.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in July said that DPP legislators would aim to complete draft bills to crack down on Chinese Communist Party (CCP) proxies operating in Taiwan in the current legislative session.

However, DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) on Saturday confirmed that related amendments would not be able to pass the three readings in the legislative session as there was not enough time left.

Meanwhile, hopes of passing draft amendments to the Mining Act (礦業法) in this legislative session were also dashed after a proposal by the NPP to prioritize the bill was blocked by the DPP in a legislative meeting on Friday.

According to legislative laws, bills that do not clear a third reading by the end of a legislative term must be scrapped, with the exception of bills on government budgets.

The way amendments to the act have been handled in this legislative session is disgraceful, NPP Chairman Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) said.

After filmmaker Chi Po-lin (齊柏林), who had exposed destructive mining operations, died in 2017, there seemed for a while to be a consensus across party lines that the act should be amended, but the DPP later began blocking proposed amendments and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) stopped attending related meetings, he said.

The draft amendments to the act and those aimed at cracking down on CCP proxies were policies the DPP had promised the public, NPP Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said.

While the DPP said that it could not pass amendments regarding CCP proxies in the current legislative session due to the laws’ far-reaching implications, if it expects people to vote for it again for the same reason, it would be “treating them as idiots,” he said.

Anyone curious about the delay to the draft amendments should first direct their questions to the DPP, KMT caucus whip William Tseng (曾銘宗) said.

Based on legislative records from the past three years, any bill the DPP wanted to pass would definitely pass, he added.

The DPP, which holds a legislative majority, is the primary reason the bills were not passed, People First Party (PFP) caucus whip Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said.

While the PFP has listed amendments to the act as a legislative priority, it could not influence the DPP’s decision, he added.

In response, Ker urged other parties not to engage in political manipulation.

DPP legislators Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) and Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) said yesterday that, if re-elected, they would propose amendments to address CCP proxies.

Perhaps the January presidential and legislative elections could be considered as a poll on the proposed amendments, Chao said.

If people support the amendments, they would vote for the DPP instead of pro-China parties, he said, adding that if the DPP could win enough legislative seats, it would be able to complete the amendments.

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