DPP to prioritize Land Expropriation Act amendments

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Aug 20, 2013 - Page 3

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday said it would make placing the Land Expropriation Act (土地徵收條例) on the legislative agenda of the new legislative session its priority following numerous controversies related to land takeovers.

As protesters demonstrated on Sunday over the demolition of four houses in Miaoli County’s Dapu Borough (大埔), the DPP caucus said it was time to address the issue of land justice.

“The central and local governments have been abusing the [Land Expropriation Act] in order to take away people’s land. It is not right,” DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) told a news conference.

Gao said the caucus would draw up a draft amendment as soon as possible and make it the top priority for the next session, which is scheduled to begin next month.

If the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) remains unresponsive on the issue, the DPP would not rule out boycotting the premier’s report to the legislature as well as the confirmation hearings of the Auditor General and members of the Central Election Commission, Gao said.

Gao blasted the KMT for vetoing a DPP-proposed amendment of the act — which emphasized legitimacy and public benefits and was backed by civic groups — in December 2011, adding that the veto had resulted in several controversial land takeovers since.

Serving as minister of the interior when the bill was amended, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) has not responded appropriately to the Dapu incident, DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said.

Speaking about the proposal, KMT caucus whip Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said the party respected any party’s right to make amendment proposals, but “was tired of the DPP’s tactics of bundling multiple issues together.”