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Legislative Yuan session to discuss trade pact
Opposition condemns rejection of its proposals
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-06-13 03:56 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Legislative Yuan decided Friday that the trade-in-services pact with China and the approval of new Control Yuan and Examination Yuan members would be the main topics for its special session, and not issues presented by the opposition.

The session officially opens Friday afternoon and closes on July 4.

At a discussion meeting Friday morning, the ruling Kuomintang used its majority to rebut attempts by opposition lawmakers to present their favorite issues, including constitutional revisions to lower the voting age to 18.

The trade agreement with China, which was signed almost a year ago, provoked the occupation of the Legislative Yuan compound by students from March 18 until April 10. The protesters only left after the authorities promised they would first review a framework law monitoring talks with China.

The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party reacted angrily to the KMT’s rejection of its own proposals. Over eleven special sessions during the past six years, the KMT threw away opposition plans for a nuclear-free Taiwan, against the monopolization of the media, for social relief, for referendums and for constitutional reform, DPP caucus official Tsai Chi-chang said.

The opposition politician said that major issues needed to be discussed rationally during the normal full sessions of the Legislature, when there would be time for full debates and clause-by-clause reviews of all the proposals.

He warned that if the government of President Ma Ying-jeou and the KMT tried to push through unpopular measures, the DPP and the social movements would not stand idly by but organize sieges of the Legislature and other protests.

“If the KMT tries to force through its proposals, we will make sure they achieve nothing,” said DPP lawmaker Chen Ting-fei.

Members of the small opposition Taiwan Solidarity Union crowded around Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng and held up a placard criticizing the excessive organization of special sessions.

Social groups condemned the same practice at a news conference outside the legislative compound Friday morning. The special session should not approve the trade pact, the framework law for talks with China and the special law for Free Economic Pilot Zones, student leader Wei Yang said. The government versions of those items have been widely condemned as too lax and giving away too many advantages to China.

According to the schedule worked out Friday, lawmakers will review the president’s nominees for the Examination Yuan on June 16-19 and vote to approve or reject them on June 20.

A similar process will be repeated for the Control Yuan, the nation’s top government watchdog, a week later, culminating in votes about the nominees on June 27.

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