The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus has decided to call another extra session of the Legislative Yuan from July 29 to Aug. 9 to push through the controversial cross-strait service trade agreement and the proposed referendum on the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮).
Facing public fears that the trade pact could destroy local businesses in the service sector, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises, some KMT lawmakers have expressed concerns over the market-access commitments covered by the agreement.
KMT legislative caucus whip Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said yesterday that the party would communicate with its lawmakers opposing the agreement to increase their understanding of how the agreement would positively affect the nation before the legislature deals with the issue.
Two meetings have been set up for communication today and Friday next week at KMT headquarters, Lai said.
The legislature went into summer recess on May 31 and was slated to reconvene in September.
A two-week-long extra session concluded on Thursday last week.
If a second extra session is held, the KMT would suggest at least three issues for the agenda — the trade pact, which requires legislative ratification to take effect in accordance with a legislative consensus, the proposed referendum to determine the fate of the nuclear power plant and the budget for state-owned enterprises for this year, Lai said.
The proposed policy to reform the country’s pension systems to relieve the government’s financial burden and to address the issue of fairness could be postponed until the next legislative session to avoid complicating the issues to be dealt with in a second extra session, Lai said.