Activists set conditions to Ma dialogue
By Adam Tyrsett Kuo and Katherine Wei ,The China Post
March 26, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Presidential Office yesterday reached out to student activists occupying the Legislative Yuan to set up a meeting between President Ma Ying-jeou and one of their representatives.
The president is willing to invite a representative of the student activists to the Presidential Office in order to communicate and find a way to restore order to the Legislature, Presidential Office spokeswoman Garfie Li (李佳霏) said.
On March 18, student activists stormed the Legislature and seized control of its main chamber in an attempt to prevent lawmakers from voting on the controversial Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement. By the following day, thousands of protesters had surrounded the complex.
The Legislature's Assembly Hall has been incapacitated, affecting parliamentary procedures, Li pointed out, adding that the president is willing to invite a student representative to the Presidential Office to discuss the cross-strait service trade pact.
Different sectors of society have different opinions on the pact, but the administration has always maintained an open attitude and a willingness to communicate, Li quoted the president as saying.
Despite the fact that people tried to storm the Executive Yuan on March 23, the president still hopes to communicate with the protesters on the principles of democracy and rationality, Li added.
Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) has been arranging cross-caucus negotiations, and the president respects the legislature's autonomy, but for the sake of national stability, the president and the executive has been actively seeking different solutions in order to bring closure to the controversy and restore order to the Legislature, aiming to fulfill the expectations of the nation's majority, the spokeswoman said.
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