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KMT urges legislative speaker to coordinate over trade pact
Central News Agency
2014-03-21 11:32 PM
Taipei, March 21 (CNA) Kuomintang lawmakers on Friday urged Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng to coordinate between the ruling and the opposition parties over a controversial cross-strait trade agreement that has sparked an unprecedented student takeover of Taiwan's parliament building. Lin Hung-chih, KMT legislator and chief director of the party's Policy Committee, said its legislative caucus reached a three-point conclusion Friday night, including asking Wang to coordinate to help solve the standoff of civic groups and student protesters, whose occupation of the main meeting chamber entered the fourth day on Friday. Wang, earlier in the day, did not show up for a scheduled meeting called by President Ma Ying-jeou to coordinate a government response to the occupation of the Legislature, choosing instead to issue a statement calling on Ma to listen to the voice of the people and work toward a consensus. Lin said the caucus also wanted the pact to be discussed and voted on article-by-article in the legislative floor. Lin said that if the legislature cannot be cleared of the protesters by Monday, KMT lawmakers would not attend the meeting in the Legislature. He said that there are currently so many people and students in the main chamber, and if they don't disperse by Monday, the KMT would not come. He said that the Legislature has the responsibility to provide a safe and dignified venue for the lawmakers. On whether to ask Wang to use police to chase away the protesters, Lin said that "it's not our business to comment." But he also said that Wang and Lin Hsi-shan, the legislature's secretary general, have the responsibility to provide a safe venue for lawmakers. He also said that he heard Chen Chi-mai, a Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker and a co-convener of the Legislative Internal Administration Committee, has put the review of the pact on the agenda on March 24, 26, and 27. He said this was illegal, noting that KMT Legislator Chang Ching-chung, a co-convener of the Internal Administration Committee, sent the pact to the legislative floor on Tuesday. But Chen alleged that Chang, in presiding over the review meeting Tuesday, acted inappropriately, and that therefore the meeting was invalid. (By Lee Shu-hua, Wen Kuei-hsiang and Lilian Wu)
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