Morning session of People’s Assembly
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-05 02:21 PM
The sunflower student protest movement and occupation of Taiwanese legislative chamber entered its 19th consecutive day on April 5, the day slated for a People’s Assembly consisting of 1,500 people and three sessions from morning to evening. The cross-strait agreement on trade in services and the supervisory act concerning cross-strait trade pacts are to be discussed in the assemblies.

According to the Facebook page of the Black Island Nation Youth, the assemblies would be held at 9:30-12:30, 14:30-17:30, and 19:30-22:30, on Chingdao East Road, inside the legislative chamber, and Chinan Road, respectively. In the morning session hosted by Assistant Professor Hsu Wei-chun of Chung Yuan Christian University and attorney Lai Chung-chiang and attended by over 400 people, participants were having discussions based on different versions of the cross-strait agreement on trade in services. Sunflower movement leader Lin Fei-fan reportedly didn’t give his opinion throughout the morning session.

According to the Apple Daily, early Saturday, Lin had led a discussion on the supervisory act concerning cross-strait pacts made by the cabinet and by the civic groups separately.

The government approved a draft of its own version of a supervisory bill on Thursday, but the students dismissed it as too vague and as not giving enough power to the public. DPP officials said their version of a supervisory law included a report by the premier to the Legislative Yuan if a cross-straits accord touched on important issues linked to defense, foreign affairs, finance and the economy. In such events, a vote at the Legislature could also be followed by a referendum, the DPP said.

To continue the movement momentum during the three-day tomb-sweeping holiday, the students also plan to host a grassroot forum on constitutional conferences in hopes of seeking more support from the people, said the United Evening News. Also, around more than one thousand people are expected to show up in this forum to be held on Chingdao East Road and Chinan road.

Saturday’s convention plan, however, has also drawn questions among some political scientists. Assistant professor Liao I-ming at the Department of Government and Law of National University of Kaohsiung casts doubt on the legitimacy of the convention, wondering how small group of people can represent majority opinion. Also according to the Apple Daily, Professor Liao Da-chi at the Institute of Political Science of National Sun Yat-sen University indicates that the “deliberative democracy” can hardly be effectively carried out with only 1,500 people involved in discussions.

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