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July 27, 2017

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Beef ban to be lifted by order or draft: KMT

Kuomintang (KMT) Secretary-General Lin Join-sane (林中森) told KMT officials yesterday that the ractopamine ban will be lifted, if not during this week's extraordinary legislative session then by executive order.

The major and minor parties have agreed to review at least three controversial bills in a special session July 24-27. On July 25, lawmakers are set to vote on an Act Governing Food Sanitation (食品衛生管理法) amendment that conditionally opens borders to U.S. beef containing ractopamine.

"The U.S. beef issue absolutely will be solved," Lin told local leaders at a Taipei seminar.

"The draft will pass if it comes up for a vote," said Lin, adding that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has agreed to allow a vote according to legislative procedure.

But if the draft doesn't face a vote?

If the DPP reneges on its promise and decides to filibuster a vote, then the ractopamine ban will go down via executive order, said Lin.

Lin said that in February, President Ma Ying-jeou's Cabinet had promised not to lift the ban using an executive order "in the near future." "The near future" will have passed after next week's extraordinary session, said Lin.

The seminar yesterday comprised some 200 KMT councilors, staff of city and county KMT chapters and other local leaders.

Local Leaders Frown

The KMT's Taipei branch director Chung Ze-liang (鍾則良) criticized KMT lawmakers for not ousting the DPP from the rostrum during the last legislative session, despite the KMT's strength in numbers. The reasons why not have never been clear, said Chung.

Other seminar participants echoed Chung, panning legislators' performance on beef, the stock gains tax and the Lin Yi-shih corruption scandal.

In his hourlong rejoinder, Lin Join-sane said that the KMT believes that democracy is about "counting heads, not smashing them."

Lin said the DPP had been "a sore loser" during the latest session and had refused to fulfil its side of cross-party resolutions.

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