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July 22, 2017

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KMT to call for extra legislative session: whip

TAIPEI--The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) will call for a two-week extra legislative session to review the nominees for members of the Control Yuan and a bill for the establishment of free economic pilot zones, according to the party's legislative whip.

Lin Hung-chih, who is also the chief of the KMT Policy Coordination Committee, said the session will begin July 28 and last until Aug. 8.

The party controls 65 seats in the 113-seat Legislative Yuan, much more than the one-fourth support needed to open an extra session.

Lin said the approval of the nominees for the Control Yuan, the top government supervisory body, and the free economic pilot zones bill will be the priority in the extra session.

Both items were on the agenda for an extra session from June 13 to July 4, but proceedings were blocked by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

The 29 nominees for the Control Yuan were supposed to fill the vacancies left by the current Control Yuan members after their six- year term ends July 31.

The bill for the free economic pilot zone project seeks to turn six ports and one airport into areas exempted from many local regulations.

The DPP has questioned the credentials of many nominees for the Control Yuan members and opposed the pilot economic zones, threatening to continue to block both items.

While the DPP's prevention of legislative action has been criticized by some scholars as non-democratic, it has also prompted calls for the ruling party to drop the nominees branded by the opposition as unqualified.

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