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June 29, 2017

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Student activists propose 'civic parliament' creation

TAIPEI -- Protesters who have occupied the Legislative Yuan's main chamber for 18 days proposed a "civic parliament" Friday, saying that they will implement what they described as "direct democracy" to review draft legislation regarding a Taiwan-China agreement-monitoring mechanism.

The meetings will start the next day with expected attendance of over 1,500 people in 60 groups, and lawmakers from across party lines are welcome to join, said Lin Fei-fan, a leading figure in the occupation that began March 18.

A day earlier, the Cabinet approved the "Statute for the Processing and Monitoring of Agreements between the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area."

The protesters' move, however, is not lawful and the results of the review will be invalid, according to the Republic of China Constitution.

In response to the ruling Kuomintang's (KMT's) call for the protesters to leave the Legislative Yuan, Lin said that "I would like to tell President Ma Ying-jeou that you won't be able to force us to leave."

Lin also encouraged more KMT lawmakers to "stand with the people and respond to the students' demands."

Some protesters that day also distributed leaflets to passersby in New Taipei's Banqiao District, KMT legislative whip Lin Hung-chih's constituency, to pressure KMT lawmakers.

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