Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) remained uncommitted toward a proposal by leaders of the nation’s six main industrial and commercial groups to hold a national affairs conference to break the ongoing political impasse so all parties can focus on economic issues.
Jiang responded to the call during a meeting with the business leaders by saying that whether to organize a national affairs conference is “for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to decide,” Executive Yuan spokesperson Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) told reporters last night.
Concerned with the prolonged struggle between Ma and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) stemming from improper lobbying allegations against Wang allegedly exerted to ease legal pressure on Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), the business leaders on Tuesday issued a statement calling for an end to political infighting.
They expressed their concerns to Wang and Jiang in person yesterday.
Unlike Jiang, who was reticent about the possibility of having a national affairs conference, Wang welcomed the idea.
General Chamber of Commerce chairman Lawrence Chang (張平沼) said Wang “was more anxious” about the opposition’s boycott against Jiang in the legislature.
Since the current legislative session began on Sept. 17, Jiang has failed in six attempts to present his policy report to the legislature and to take questions from lawmakers in a routine question-and-answer session.
Jiang declined to give in to the opposition parties’ demand that he apologize for his role in the political infighting which they said has constituted an infringement of the constitutional separation of powers.
Wang proposed on Tuesday that the question-and-answer session be pushed back by at least two weeks to ease political tensions.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday decided that the party would only agree to Wang’s proposal if the DPP guaranteed that Jiang would be able to take the podium on Oct. 25 and that it would not block a number of major acts during the period.
KMT caucus whip Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said that the party hoped that the legislature would ratify the economic cooperation agreement Taiwan signed with New Zealand in July and the cross-strait service trade agreement and pass other acts related to government restructuring in the next two weeks.