The New Power Party (NPP) yesterday announced its legislative agenda, which includes introducing bills to institutionalize the transition of governments, combat media monopolies and increase transparency in cross-strait negotiations, as well as amend disaster relief and compensation laws.
The party made the announcement at a news conference held after its caucus met in Taipei to set its priorities in the Legislative Yuan session that is to begin on Friday.
NPP Chairman and Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said that the party’s priority is to introduce a draft act to regulate the transition of power between governments by specifying how outgoing administrations handoff their responsibilities to incoming administrations.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
The proposed legislation is to spell out the procedures that the Presidential Office and other governmental entities must follow during transitional periods and mandate a special legislative committee to supervise transitions, Huang said.
Conceding that passing the bill by late next month would be a challenge, Huang said that the party hopes to ratify the draft by then so that it would be ready for president-elect Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inauguration on May 20.
NPP convener Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) also vowed to halt Morgan Stanley Private Equity Asia IV’s (MSPE) proposed purchase of cable TV operator China Network Systems (CNS), which is widely seen as an attempt by Far EasTone Telecommunications to acquire CNS through its strategic alliance with MSPE.
Far EasTone is forbidden from purchasing CNS or any other telecom operator by the Radio and Television Act (廣播電視法), because groups within the government, such as the Ministry of Finance and the state-owned Bank of Taiwan, control about 2.9 percent of its stock.
Hsu said the party would call for a resolution in the legislature to freeze the deal by “suspending” its application’s evaluation by regulators, adding that Premier Simon Chang (張善政) has said that a legislative resolution carries sufficient legal authority to stop the transfer.
The party is also committed to passing legislation against media monopolization, and plans to begin drafting the act following a consultative public hearing scheduled for next week, Huang said.
The NPP plans to propose amendments to the Disaster Prevention and Protection Act (災害防救法), separate from the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) proposals, he said.
While the DPP’s proposals contain a “laudable” provision for more generous mortgage relief for affected households, the NPP’s version is to have stronger guarantees for victim compensation and more effective provisional seizure statutes to avoid asset liquidation during an investigation, Huang said.
The NPP caucus is to submit a draft for a cross-strait deals monitor act modeled on the demands of Sunflower movement activists, with the goal of ratification in this session of the legislature, Huang said.
In response, DPP Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) said that, while the DPP has no objections to the NPP’s resolution against the CNS merger, the DPP has already secured a pledge from the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission that evaluations of the deal would be suspended.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus secretary-general Lin Te-fu (林德福) said that, as the government is in a transitional period, KMT legislators would follow the lead of the Executive Yuan, with a more detailed response to be made after tomorrow’s meeting between Cabinet members and KMT lawmakers.
When asked for comment, People First Party (PFP) caucus convener Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said that the PFP caucus would need time to discuss the NPP’s legislative agenda, adding that, due to the CNS merger controversy, the National Communications Commission should report to the Legislative Yuan and explain why it approved the deal.
Additional reporting by CNA
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