4th round of inter-party talks breaks down
DPP to stay away from next round
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-03-28 02:34 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The fourth round of talks between caucuses of ruling and opposition camps under the guidance of Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng broke down Friday, with the opposition threatening to boycott further meetings.

The lawmakers have been trying to find common ground on how to deal with the Taiwan-China trade-in-services pact after the ruling Kuomintang killed off a thorough review by committees on March 17 to send the accord on to a full legislative session. The opposition, including the main Democratic Progressive Party, and the students who have been occupying the Legislature since March 18, want the trade deal to be sent back to the committee level for the full review.

During the caucus talks Friday, the KMT reiterated a proposal made the day before, asking for the pact review to be presided by Wang and the DPP to promise not to disrupt proceedings.

DPP chief whip Ker Chien-ming told reporters after the meeting that the KMT did not have the proper sincerity to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion and it would therefore be unnecessary for the opposition round to take part in a likely next round of talks on Saturday.

The DPP supported demands by the students for the Legislative Yuan to pass a framework law guiding talks with China before reviewing the trade-in-services pact itself, a proposal the KMT group turned down.

Wang called on the caucuses to go back and reflect on the possibilities to return later with workable proposals. The lawmakers should make an effort to move in the direction of a consensus at the least possible cost to society, he said in a statement.

Despite the apparent refusal of the DPP, he said he was still planning to host a fifth round of inter-party talks on Saturday afternoon.

The occupiers of the Legislative Yuan have called on members of the public to come out in force for a protest rally in front of the Presidential Office Building Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m. Organizers reportedly expect 100,000 people to turn up.

For the first time, opponents of the occupation were also scheduled to launch street action, but on Saturday afternoon. Three different protests would be organized by a KMT youth group, relatives of police officers, and members of the public, reports said. The opponents of the occupation chose a carnation as their symbol, in contrast to the sunflower which represents the students.

Wang said he hoped the protesters would be rational and exert self-control.

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