Legislative Yuan to resume operations day after students leave
Minority group questions decision to withdraw
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-08 03:07 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Legislative Yuan will resume operations with a full session this Friday, the day after the students end the occupation they started on March 18.

After Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng promised during a visit to the students last Sunday that the Legislature would first review a framework law to monitor talks with China before tackling the trade-in-services pact, the occupiers announced they would leave Thursday at 6 p.m.

Wang called another negotiating session with the legislative caucuses Tuesday which came up with the proposals for Friday’s agenda. The April 11 plenary session will be the first such meeting since protesting students entered the premises on the evening of March 18. On its agenda will be the passage of a number of versions of the framework law or guidelines to the committee level.

Friday’s session will also include discussions on the eventual vote to confirm the nomination of Yen Da-ho as new state prosecutor-general, but will not include an appearance by Premier Jiang Yi-huah to face questioning by lawmakers, reports said.

Wang’s apparent decision to give in to students’ demands came under attack from his fellow Kuomintang legislators, some of whom accused him of having sold out the ruling party. The speaker denied he had spoken to opposition Democratic Progressive Party chief whip Ker Chien-ming and to students before making his groundbreaking visit to the occupiers.

The cost of the sunflower movement as it drew to a close also came to the fore Tuesday. The students wanted to raise NT$2.53 million (US$83,800) to make up for shortfalls, reports said.

Damage to the chambers was estimated at NT$100 million (US$3.3 million) and the time needed for repairs at one month, media reports said. A total of 126 labor unions reportedly signed a petition calling on the students themselves to pay up for the repairs, rather than rely on taxpayers’ funds.

According to Ker, Wang already had a proposal worked out on how to solve the damage and compensation issue, though he did not provide any details.

Signs of divisions within student ranks also emerged, with a minority questioning the transparency and the level of democracy in the process to decide on Thursday’s withdrawal. Overnight, several students and other social activists discussed separate actions before the withdrawal from the Legislative Yuan.

Prominent activist Liu Ching-wen said it was too early to leave the Legislature, while student leader Chen Wei-ting responded that he would communicate more with the dissidents. According to Liu, a decision to withdraw should only have been made after secure promises had been obtained from President Ma Ying-jeou, Jiang and Wang. The threshold for the departure from the Legislature had been fixed too low, the activist said.

While the students prepared to clean up the Legislature Tuesday, the Academia Sinica said it wanted to collect the slogans, banners, placards and other memorabilia from the occupation to serve as historical material.

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