5 DPP mayors, magistrates protest FEPZs ultimatum
By Lauly Li ,The China Post
May 27, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
Five Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) mayors and magistrates yesterday jointly released a press statement to protest against the Kuomintang (KMT) caucus' proposal to "cross off" their cities should they fail to approve the special draft bill on the Free Economic Pilot Zones (FEPZs) program.
The DPP mayors and magistrates include Yilan Magistrate Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢), Chiayi Magistrate Helen Chang (張花冠), Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德), Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) and Pingtung Magistrate Tsao Chi-hung (曹啟鴻).
The five said the issue of the FEPZs cannot be solved by simply saying "yes or no" to the program, noting that the KMT should not force the special bill to be passed in such a manner.
According to the press statement, the five have decided not to attend a deliberation meeting at the Legislative Yuan this Wednesday.
The Kuomintang (KMT) caucus yesterday said the Legislature is slated to review a special draft on the FEPZs this Wednesday, noting that it plans to invite magistrates that are relevant to the FEPZs project to come to the Legislature and make their position clear.
During the ruling party caucus's cadre meeting yesterday, KMT Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) said the KMT lawmakers should go on the offensive over the FEPZs program and should stop letting the opposition lawmakers dominate the issue.
Tseng said the lawmakers should demand magistrates whose cities are part of the FEPZs program to express their opinion. If a magistrate does not support the FEPZs, then the lawmakers should "cross off" that city from the program, Tseng said.
The slot of the program can go to Changhua County or other cities that wish to be included in the FEPZs, Tseng said.
KMT lawmaker Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順), who doubles as one of the conveners of the Economic Committee, said the ruling party lawmakers will "rehearse" the deliberation meeting today, making sure the meeting will proceed as expected on Wednesday.
KMT caucus whip Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said the reason to invite magistrates to come to the Legislature is to understand their position on the issue, noting that if Chen and Lai agree with the program then the DPP lawmaker should stop boycotting the deliberation.
The KMT said it will invite Keelung Mayor Chang Tung-jung (張通榮), New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), Lin, Taoyuan Magistrate John Wu (吳志揚), Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強), Changhua Magistrate Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源),Lai, Chen and Tsao to attend the deliberation meeting this Wednesday.
According to the Executive Yuan, the Free Economic Pilot Zones include Keelung Port (基隆港), Taipei Port (台北港) of New Taipei City, Taoyuan Aerotropolis (桃園航空自由貿易港區), Taichung Port (台中港), Anping Port (安平港) of Tainan City (台南市), Kaohsiung Port (高雄港), Suao Harbor (蘇澳港) of Yilan County (宜蘭縣) and Pingtung Agricultural Biotech Park (屏東農業生技園區).