Pan-blues take aim at Assembly and Parade legislation

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sat, Aug 11, 2007 - Page 3

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and People First Party (PFP) caucuses yesterday said they would prioritize amendments to the Assembly and Parade Law (集會遊行法) in the next legislative session, which begins next month.

KMT Legislator Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), who spoke on behalf of the two caucuses, said the Assembly and Parade Law is unconstitutional because it requires organizers of demonstrations and rallies to obtain permission from local governments in advance.

By Dec. 10, International Human Rights Day, the two caucuses hoped to push through an amendment that would only require event organizers to inform government agencies in charge after protests have taken place Tseng said at a press conference.

KMT Legislator Joanna Lei (雷倩), who proposed the KMT amendments, said the two caucuses would also seek to further reduce the scope of restricted areas where assemblies and parades are prohibited.

The two caucuses held the joint press conference in response to the Taipei District Court's indictment of 16 members of the anti-President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) campaign led by former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairman Shih Ming-teh (施明德) on violation of the Assembly and Parade Law last Friday.

The court charged them with initiating an unregistered protest during last year's National Day celebrations.

In related news, PFP Legislator Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) and KMT Legislator Chen Chao-jung (陳朝容) were indicted yesterday for disrupting last year's Double Ten National Day celebrations.

The indictment says that Liu and Chen interfered with a National Day rally on Oct. 10 last year in front of the Presidential Office by walking through processions of honor guards.

Additional reporting by CNA