With the previous legislative session having drawn to a close on Friday, legislative caucuses are eyeing a provisional legislative session to review urgent bills and President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nominations for independent agencies.
A provisional legislative session should be held late next month before or after the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus secretary-general Chung Chia-pin (鍾佳濱) said yesterday.
The DPP caucus hopes to review an irrigation association bill, a bill to introduce a lay judge system for reviewing criminal offenses and the budget for the second stage of the Forward-looking Infrastructure Development Program, in addition to approving the president’s National Communications Commission and Examination Yuan member nominations, Chung said.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
If lawmakers decide to hold an extraordinary session, the DPP caucus would respect the opinions of opposition caucuses regarding what items to deal with, he added.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus neither favors nor opposes an extraordinary session, but believes that some bills could wait until the next regular session, KMT caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said, adding that, as a minority, the KMT caucus can only passively respond to the DPP’s proposals.
If an extraordinary session is called, the KMT caucus believes that lawmakers should review its proposal to amend the Special Act on COVID-19 Prevention, Relief and Recovery (嚴重特殊傳染性肺炎防治及紓困振興特別條例) so that the government could legally give people a NT$6,000 cash handout as the pandemic eases domestically, he said.
The KMT caucus would like to ask Tsai to report to the Legislative Yuan on cross-strait relations and proposed constitutional amendments, and discuss how the Act Governing Relations With Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例) could be amended to help Hong Kongers seeking asylum, as Beijing seeks to ram through a national security bill for the territory, he said.
Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) caucus whip Lai Hsiang-ling (賴香伶) said that it would be appropriate if an extraordinary session is held in two weeks.
In addition to reviewing the act and its enforcement guidelines, the TPP caucus also hopes to review its proposal to amend the Legislators’ Conduct Act (立法委員行為法), which seeks to remove any lawmakers who have been convicted or have committed offenses related to national security, she said.
Due to the plethora of nominations and bills that need to be reviewed, the New Power Party (NPP) caucus believes that an extraordinary session should be called as soon as possible, NPP caucus whip Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) said.
If caucuses decide to review the bill on the proposed lay judge system, they should consider it along with the NPP caucus’ bill to introduce a jury system for reviewing criminal trials, he said.
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