Blunder gives KMT seven legislative convener seats

POOR SHOWING::The DPP also had the PFP and the luck of the draw to blame for the results, but was not helped by Legislator Yang Yao, who voted for himself, for a tie

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Mar 03, 2016 - Page 3

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which has only 35 seats in the 113-seat legislature after the legislative elections on Jan. 16, yesterday won seven convener seats with the help of the People First Party (PFP), the luck of the draw and a blunder by a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker as the legislature held elections for 16 conveners of eight committees.

Of the eight legislative committees, the Education and Culture Committee and the Foreign and National Defense Committee are the only two that choose their conveners via recommendation instead of election. DPP Legislator Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書) and KMT Legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖) will take turns to preside over education and culture committee meetings, while the foreign and national defense committees are to be overseen by DPP Legislator Liu Shih-fang (劉世芳) and KMT Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣).

With two conveners needed for each committee, the DPP caucus assigned its lawmakers’ votes to make sure that even in those committees that did not have a sufficient number of DPP lawmakers to win both convener seats, a draw would be undertaken among one KMT lawmaker and two DPP lawmakers.

The Transportation Committee and the Internal Administration Committee, for instance, both saw one KMT lawmaker and two DPP lawmakers secure five votes each, with PFP Legislator Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) supporting the KMT candidate in the former and PFP Legislator Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔) voting for a DPP candidate in the latter. A draw was then conducted in both cases.

KMT Legislator Chen Hsuen-sheng (陳雪生), who drew first, won the Transportation Committee draw and the other seat went to DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) based on seniority.

Luck was not on the DPP’s side in the Internal Administration Committee either, where KMT Legislator Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順) and DPP Legislator Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) secured the convener seats.

The KMT candidate had PFP support in the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee, resulting in KMT Legislator Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) and DPP Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) securing the seats.

In the Finance Committee, the vote made DPP Legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) and KMT Legislator Lu Hsiu-yen (盧秀燕) the conveners.

The DPP dominated in the Economics Committee, having DPP legislators Lin Tai-hua (林岱樺) and Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) elected as conveners.

The most dramatic scenes played out in the vote for the Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee, with DPP Legislator Yang Yao (楊曜) voting for himself, leading to a tie between KMT Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) and one of the two DPP candidates, Legislator Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國).

While DPP Legislator Lin Shu-feng (林淑芬) was guaranteed a seat, the draw between Wang and Liu Chien-kuo gave the seat to the KMT lawmaker.

Yang later yesterday asked the party to suspend his duties and privileges for a year as a reprimand for his blunder, which the DPP caucus said would be dealt with in tomorrow’s caucus meeting.