Latest meeting to end legislative stalemate on accord fails again
March 29, 2014, 12:09 am TWN
TAIPEI--Taiwan's majority and minority legislators failed again Friday to figure out how to end the standoff over a controversial trade-in-services agreement with China that has essentially paralyzed the lawmaking body.
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, who presided over the meeting, the fourth between representatives of rival legislative caucuses on the issue since March 24, asked all parties to keep the public's welfare in mind and use their wisdom to submit feasible proposals.
He also said he will convene another meeting Saturday afternoon, though it may not be attended by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party.
“At this critical moment for the country, all sides have to address the stalemate and work together to find a solution and regain public trust,” Wang said.
On rallies aimed at endorsing and opposing the controversial pact, Wang called for calm, rationality, self restraint, and tolerance and respect for different views.
The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) reaffirmed its stance that it is willing to have the pact returned to committee and have it reviewed and voted upon article-by-article.
But it insisted that the review must be presided over by Wang and that the DPP must agree not to filibuster the review process.
KMT Legislator Lin Hung-chih said a revision of existing acts to monitor future cross-strait agreements should be held simultaneously with the review of the trade-in-services agreement.
Lin said the KMT legislative caucus has proposed a series of compromises to enable society to return to normal and the operations of the Legislature to get back on track.
The DPP, however, said it will not attend Saturday's meeting.
Ker Chien-ming, a DPP caucus whip, said the KMT is still setting preconditions and showed no sincerity in the meeting.
He stressed that President Ma Ying-jeou had to respond directly to demands by the students who have occupied the Legislature since March 18 and society for a coordination meeting to be meaningful.
The students have demanded that a new law aimed at closely monitoring all cross-strait agreements be in place before the screening of the services pact begins.