A number of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday did not toe the party line during several rounds of votes to determine the agenda for the legislature’s plenary session on Tuesday. However, that did not prevent the KMT from blocking proposals initiated by the opposition, including one demanding the resignation of Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘).
KMT Legislator Chen Ken-te (陳根德) voted in support of a motion proposed by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) that Huang step down following recent controversies, including allegations of illegal wiretapping and his handling of a case involving the use of undue influence that has evolved into the current political turmoil.
The DPP and the TSU proposed that the motion be placed on Tuesday’s agenda, but they were outvoted by the KMT, which still came up with 54 votes from its 64 lawmakers.
In another DPP-TSU motion proposing that the legislature establish an investigation commission to probe alleged wiretapping of the legislature’s telephone line, three KMT lawmakers abstained — Chen Ken-te, Lo Ming-tsai (羅明才) and Wang Hui-mei (王惠美).
Nonetheless, the motion was defeated by a vote of 42 to 56.
The KMT also voted down other DPP-TSU motions that suggested the legislature deliberate a proposal to halt construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in Gongliao District (貢寮), New Taipei City (新北市), reverse power rate hikes and review amendments to the Labor Insurance Act (勞工保險條例) regarding operation of the Labor Insurance Fund.
The lawmakers did agree to include a DPP proposal that the legislature’s Discipline Committee investigate allegations of improper use of influence, in which DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) was accused of asking Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) to persuade prosecutors against appealing a not-guilty verdict in a breach-of-trust case.
Late last month, Ker took the initiative to ask that the committee investigate the allegations and that the committee hearings be made public, so he could clear his name.
Lawmakers also agreed to prioritize deliberations on a proposal addressing recent food scare incidents, ratification of an economic cooperation agreement with New Zealand and an amendment to the Foreign Trade Act (貿易法) related to the trade accord on Tuesday.