DPP block pact deliberation, again
By Lauly Li ,The China Post
April 3, 2014, 12:00 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- All Kuomintang (KMT) members of the Internal Administration Committee were blocked by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers from entering a meeting room where the Cross-Strait Trade in Services Agreement deliberation would be held at the Legislative Yuan yesterday.
KMT lawmaker Chang Ching-chung (張慶忠), who doubles as one of the committee conveners, last week arranged for a two-day deliberation meeting over the pact to be held yesterday and today. The KMT caucus had said it was willing to conduct an article-by-article deliberation at the legislative committee. The DPP caucus, on the other hand, sided with the student activists' demand asking the Ma administration to retract the pact.
The DPP lawmakers on Tuesday spent the entire night in the meeting room in order to boycott the KMT-convened deliberation. Early yesterday morning, the DPP lawmakers locked the doors of the meeting room and erected barricades of desks in order to prevent KMT lawmakers or government officials from entering in the room.
Around 8:30 a.m., several DPP lawmakers and local media reporters waited for the KMT lawmakers in a small ante-chamber between the elevators and the entrances of the meeting room.
Pushing and shoving occurred between KMT lawmakers Lin Hung-chi (林鴻池) and Chiang Huei-chen (江惠貞) and the DPP lawmakers when the ruling party lawmakers attempted to enter the meeting room.
Over 10 KMT lawmakers, including Chang, attempted to get into the meeting room but were blocked by opposition lawmakers. The DPP caucus stationed a few DPP lawmakers in the elevator to restrain Chang and prevent him from getting out.
KMT Condemns DPP for Boycotting
In a press conference held later in the day, the KMT caucus condemned the DPP caucus for boycotting the deliberation meeting.
Lin said that the KMT caucus humbly requested to deliberate the trade pact properly at the Legislative Yuan, noting that the ruling party is not going to block the opposition lawmakers if they want to raise opinions regarding the pact during the deliberation process.
Lin said Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jing-pyng (王金平) has held five cross-caucus negotiations, but the DPP caucus could not even abide by a basic request to not occupy the rostrum and podiums.
While Chang was answering a phone call from a protester against the trade pact in a hallway in the Legislative Yuan, student activist Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) approached Chang and emotionally demanded that Chang go into the Assembly Hall and sign the list of demands raised by student activists.
Police officers immediately took Chen away from Chang, and returned him to the Assembly Hall.
Chang later said that as Chen is emotional, if he goes into the Assembly Hall, the circumstances will get worse. Chang said the reason he arranged for the deliberation of the pact was to express his goodwill.
Yesterday afternoon Chang rearranged today's committee agenda from the trade pact deliberation to a deliberation of an indigenous peoples' election and recall act.