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Home The News News KMT disrupts proceedings at legislature

KMT disrupts proceedings at legislature

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Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators, with a polystyrene pig, boycott Premier Lin Chuan’s report to the legislature in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday morning disrupted a presentation Premier Lin Chuan (林全) was giving to the legislature, while outside the Legislative Yuan, a rally supposedly led by pig farmers, fishermen and KMT supporters protested against US pork imports containing ractopamine and “the neglect” of fishermen’s rights.

KMT lawmakers chanting slogans and holding up placards reading: “[If] US pork is imported, [then] Lin Chuan steps down,” “US pork is laced with drugs, Taiwan does not want it” and “Green U-turns have fooled the whole of Taiwan,” put three models of green pigs on the front lectern — a mocking allusion to President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) “three little pigs” fundraising effort during her election campaign.

The chaos prompted Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) to call a break after a few minutes, with the premier also leaving the main chamber and going to a back room, which moved KMT lawmakers to shout: “Runaway premier.”

The lawmakers held up enlarged copies of a “pledge letter,” which they called on the premier to sign to promise not to allow the import of US pork or the import of products from the five Japanese prefectures that were affected by radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant disaster in March 2011. They also called on Lin to ensure Taiwanese fishermen’s rights are protected in disputed waters near the Okinotori atoll in the Pacific Ocean.

While the crowd outside the Legislative Yuan dispersed at about noon, KMT lawmakers gathered in the front of the main chamber to again call out slogans before the legislative speaker reappeared and announced a formal break, saying that the floor meeting would resume at 2:30pm.

Following the recess announcement, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said that the DPP had never asked KMT premiers to sign “pledge letters” even during its fiercest protests.

He told reporters that during negotiations, the KMT caucus asked for protesters from outside the Legislative Yuan to be allowed to stage a sit-in inside the legislative compound, which Ker said “was impossible.”

The meeting resumed at 2:30pm, but KMT lawmakers’ obstructed the proceedings again, as they continued to occupy podiums and chant slogans, asking the premier to “promise before stepping onto the podium.”

The legislative speaker therefore again called for a break for lawmakers to “calm down.”

Lin also left the floor chamber after the announcement was made.

When fielding questions from reporters before entering the chamber in the afternoon, Lin said that the Executive Yuan would communicate with the legislature to make sure that the public feels “secure” about the government’s policies.

The DPP caucus said at an afternoon news conference in the afternoon that the KMT was occupying podiums over a “pseudo issue,” because there was no negotiation ongoing between the government and the US about the import of US pork.

The government has been in power for a little more than 10 days and the KMT has already started to obstruct it, DPP Legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said, adding that the KMT did not even know how to be “a loyal opposition party.”

The KMT caucus said that their issues were “real” as they concerned the public’s rights and health and therefore required the premier’s open promise.

Su and Lin returned to the legislative floor at 5:45pm, with the KMT lawmakers still boycotting, and processed — amid the KMT lawmakers’ chanting of slogans — a motion proposed by the New Power Party caucus to prolong the meeting to midnight, which was voted down by DPP legislators. Su announced the adjournment of the floor meeting at about 6pm, which ended the KMT caucus’ day-long demonstration.

Source: Taipei Times - 2016/06/01

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