Scuffles among lawmakers broke out in the legislature in Taipei yesterday as a combined session completed the final procedural step before sending draft legislation targeting “illicit party assets” into cross-caucus negotiations.
A combined session of the Legislative Yuan’s Internal Administration Committee, the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statues Committee, and the Finance Committee on Monday passed the draft legislation after Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators stormed out of a review session at which they used extended “procedural remarks” to slow the progress of a Democratic Progress Party (DPP)-sponsored proposal.
Yesterday’s session was to confirm Monday’s meeting minutes to enable the draft act to be sent out of committee ahead of a five-day recess, including the Dragon Boat Festival, and before KMT Legislator Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順) is scheduled to take her turn in the rotation as convener of the Internal Administration Committee next week.
Members of the New Power Party caucus arrived early to prevent KMT legislators from occupying the convener’s podium — a strategy commonly used by members of the opposition to impede proceedings.
After the reading of the official rendition of Monday’s minutes, session convener Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) — a DPP legislator — finalized the minutes while KMT lawmakers voiced objections, sparking retorts from the DPP and leading to shouting from both sides.
“We have objections — you have not let me speak about procedure,” KMT caucus Secretary-General Lin Te-fu (林德福) said, repeatedly grabbing microphones away from Chen and at one point slamming a microphone against the podium.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Following several minutes of shouting, Chen called for a vote on a DPP motion to adjourn, leading to tussles as several KMT legislators charged the convener’s podium, with Lin wrenching the microphone away from Chen immediately after he announced the passage of the adjournment motion.
“We have a right to give procedural remarks and we registered, but they refused to give us an opportunity to express our views,” KMT Legislator Chang Li-shan (張麗善) said as her colleagues shouted slogans accusing the DPP of using “majority violence” and imposing “green terror.”
“A motion to adjourn takes priority — those are the ABCs of procedural rules,” Chen said. “The KMT should familiarize itself with procedural rules and make its opinions known during the substantive review process, rather than resorting to a flustered and reckless procedural boycott.”
Declaring whether to finalize meeting minutes is to be done at the discretion of committee conveners according to the Rules of Procedure of the Legislative Yuan, he said, adding that the regulations stipulate any objections to the wording of the documents should be submitted in writing — ruling out the use of procedural remarks.
“All of this stalling is to protect the KMT’s assets, but [KMT lawmakers] seem to think that acting as the opposition is just a matter of putting on a new uniform,” said DPP Legislator Chuang Jui-hsiung (莊瑞雄), referring to blue polo shirts and jeans KMT legislators wore at the session.
“They have forgotten to do their homework,” Chuang said, adding that former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) — a KMT legislator — had issued a ruling stating that finalizing committee minutes was not subject to a vote.
The draft bill now moves to cross-caucus negotiations, with a vote expected early next month following the discussions.
CALL FOR PEACE: Czech President Petr Pavel raised concerns about China’s military maneuvers in the Taiwan Strait and its ‘unfriendly action’ in the South China Sea The leaders of three diplomatic allies — Guatemala, Paraguay and Palau — on Tuesday voiced support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN on the first day of the UN General Debate in New York. In his address during the 78th UN General Assembly, Palauan President Surangel Whipps Jr urged the UN and all parties involved in cross-strait issues to exercise restraint and seek a peaceful resolution. “The well-being and prosperity of nations and their economies are intrinsically linked to global peace and stability,” he said. He also thanked partner nations such as Taiwan, Australia, Japan and the US for providing assistance
CROSS-STRAIT CONCERNS: At the same US Congress hearing, Mira Resnick said a US government shutdown could affect weapons sales and licenses to allies such as Taiwan A Chinese blockade of Taiwan would be a “monster risk” for Beijing and likely to fail, while a military invasion would be extremely difficult, senior Pentagon officials told the US Congress on Tuesday. Growing worries of a conflict come as China has ramped up military pressure on Taiwan, holding large-scale war games simulating a blockade on the nation, while conducting near-daily warplane incursions and sending Chinese vessels around its waters. US Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs Ely Ratner said a blockade would be “a monster risk for the PRC [People’s Republic of China].” “It would likely not succeed, and it
IMPORTS: Fifty-four million imported eggs with a value of more than NT$200 million had to be destroyed, mostly because they expired in storage facilities Minister of Agriculture Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) last night announced that he would resign from his post. Local media on Sunday reported that Chen had resigned due to controversy over the ministry’s egg import program. Later that same evening, the Executive Yuan said that Premier Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) had asked the minister to stay on to resolve the issue. Chen Chi-chung last night made public his decision to resign on Facebook, saying that this time he would not be dissuaded. Chen Chi-chung earlier yesterday apologized for the furor surrounding the egg import program, but added that misinformation had made the problems worse. The government was
AMPHIBIOUS EXERCISES: The defense ministry said that it had detected 24 Chinese PLA Air Force planes entering Taiwan’s air defense zone over the previous 24 hours Chinese movements around Taiwan were “abnormal,” Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng (邱國正) said yesterday, flagging recent amphibious exercises in addition to drills Taipei has observed in China’s Fujian Province. Taiwan has reported a rise in Chinese military activity over the past week as dozens of fighters, drones, bombers and other aircraft, as well as warships, have operated around the nation. “Our initial analysis is that they are doing joint drills in September, including land, sea, air and amphibious,” Chiu told reporters at the legislature in Taipei. The “recent enemy situation is quite abnormal,” he said. The comments followed a statement from the