Parties to negotiate pact debate Wednesday: PTS
By Adam Tyrsett Kuo, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Members of the ruling party and the opposition will be invited to negotiate the details of a debate on the cross-strait service trade pact on Wednesday, according to the Taiwan Public Television Service (PTS).
August 27, 2013, 12:42 am TWN
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) yesterday confirmed that representatives from both parties will meet on Wednesday with an aim to set a time, date, location and format for the debate as soon as possible.
The Presidential Office, on the other hand, did not deny the news.
Besides confirming that it had invited representatives from both sides for a discussion on Wednesday, the PTS said that it could not disclose the specific details of the upcoming negotiation.
The head of state has an obligation to clarify the content of an agreement before it is signed, Tsai said, adding that when the cross-strait service trade pact was inked, neither the opposition nor industry representatives were thoroughly notified about the pact's content, leading to panic across various sectors.
The ruling party only agreed to a debate because there are lingering doubts over the pact, Tsai said, adding that the DPP is willing to give Ma the “opportunity” to take a “makeup exam” so that the public can learn about the facts of the agreement.
Members of the ruling and opposition caucuses both came out yesterday saying that a debate is necessary, despite the fact that the DPP was recently blasted by the KMT for “flip-flopping” on the issue.
The opposition said on Aug. 22 that a debate was “unnecessary,” but it apparently made an about-face the following day.
In order to let the public learn more about the pact, the DPP should allow the island's major newspapers and news agency to take part in the event, KMT lawmaker Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said.
Barring the media from asking questions during the debate is not conducive toward the debate's purpose, Lin stressed.
DPP lawmaker Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬), on the other hand, said that if the planned debate is to follow the format of 2010's Economic Framework Cooperation Agreement debate, there is no reason why the island's newspapers and news agency should be invited to host the event.