DPP calls for siege of Legislative Yuan
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-20 06:57 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The opposition Democratic Progressive Party held an international news conference Thursday to call for nationwide action to surround the Legislative Yuan and support the students in their campaign against the service trade pact with China.

Hundreds of students have been occupying the Legislature since Tuesday evening and plan to stay there at least until noon Friday. They want President Ma Ying-jeou to apologize and Premier Jiang Yi-huah to resign over Monday’s decision by the Kuomintang legislative caucus to end the review of the controversial trade agreement.

As the students’ ultimatum ends after 63 hours of occupation Friday noon, members of the public should surround the Legislative Yuan, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang said Thursday.

Police should not use violence to remove the students, the trade deal should be subject to a proper review, and the necessary clauses should be renegotiated with China, the opposition leader said.

Before the international news conference, Su met with representatives of small and medium enterprises to discuss policies toward the trade pact. The result was that the business leaders promised to attend Friday’s protest and to voice support for the students, reports said.

Su called on the international community to pay attention to what was happening in Taiwan, and especially to the anti-democratic way in which KMT lawmakers had passed the trade accord.

The DPP said that its elected representatives in the northern parts of Taiwan, including Taipei City, New Taipei City, Taoyuan County and Keelung City, should have no excuses to stay away from Friday’s protests.

In a separate development, DPP chief legislative whip Ker Chien-ming said he had asked Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng to open cross-party talks on how to resolve the impasse. Wang apparently refused to host the talks outside the Legislature, which meant they would have to wait until after the students left the building, reports said. Ker said the speaker should rule Monday’s passage of the trade pact invalid because it also happened away from the podium.

Similar votes about the import of beef from the United States and about Chinese students in Taiwan were also ruled invalid for the same reasons, Ker said, calling on Wang to come out and offer a solution.

If the president failed to apologize to the protesters, it would be difficult to come an understanding, Ker concluded.

On Wednesday, the DPP proposed an alternative version of the trade-in-services pact. The opposition plan wants to exclude launderettes, hairdressers, telecommunications and advertising from the agreement.

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