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Legislative harmony based on service pact consensus: Wang

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday that cross-caucus harmony within the Legislature will be affected if the consensus reached between ruling party and opposition lawmakers on the cross-strait service trade pact issue is disregarded.

According to local reports, Kuomintang Legislator Chang Ching-chung (張慶忠), also convener of the Legislature's Internal Administration Committee, was previously planning on placing the pact on the docket, running against an agreement reached during cross-caucus negotiations.

Wang said that both the ruling party and opposition caucuses had a reached a consensus to allow public hearings on the pact to continue until March 10, 2014, and that the pact would not be reviewed in the current session.

After communications, Chang has agreed to comply, Wang said.

The speaker added that if there should be any unexpected turn of events, further negotiations will be affected.

When asked if President Ma Ying-jeou had relayed any of his own opinions on the pact's progress, Wang said, “Everyone in the Legislature should be aware of (the progress).”

According to cross-caucus consensus, a total of 20 public hearings have to be held before an article-by-article examination can take place. So far, there are still three more public hearings that need to be held, for which Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tuan Yi-kang (段宜康) is chiefly responsible. One hearing will be held on Jan. 2, while another is scheduled to be held on Jan. 13. The last public hearing must be held by March 10.

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