Talks break down for Ma’s reporting to legislature
TAIPEI (The China Post/ANN) - Taiwan's opposition has blocked a proposal to have President Ma Ying-jeou report to parliament the results of his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
A proposal, offered up by ruling Kuomintang (KMT) lawmakers for President Ma Ying-jeou to deliver a national state report to the Legislative Yuan, following his meeting with mainland Chinese leader Xi Jin-ping, was blocked after objections from the opposing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), during a cross-caucus negotiation Friday (November 6).
“Ma would not be able to report to the legislature next week,” said KMT caucus whip Lai Shyh-bao after the negotiation failed to reach a consensus.
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, who had convened the negotiation, said it failed because DPP lawmakers demanded Ma open the floor to questioning during his report.
However, Taiwan’s Constitution does not allow interpellations of its president, said Wang on Thursday.
According to the Constitution, it is the Executive Yuan that is responsible for reporting to the Legislature. But the Act Governing Exercise of Rights of the Legislative Yuan stipulates that the president can make such a report if a legislative consensus is reached after 25 percent of standing lawmakers endorse a proposal.
“They could not reach an agreement,” remarked Wang. “It would now have to go through legislative procedures like a regular proposal, but I can't be sure how long it will take.”
KMT continues push
Despite the breakdown, Lai said the KMT would continue to push for Ma to give the report.
Ma may be able to report on November 17 at the earliest, said Lai. The proposal will be sent to the Procedures Committee on Monday, and the KMT’s majority would likely allow for it to be reviewed by the full floor on November 13.
Lai said it was apparent that “the DPP had deliberately boycotted the proposal (Friday). Previous claims to want to probe (policies) and to commit to transparency are all false. It is regrettable the DPP has always viewed important national matters through the lens of politics and votes.”
DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming said the party would not approve of Ma reporting to the Legislative Yuan, calling it a political tactic to obtain the legislature’s endorsement.
Presidential Office Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan said on Wednesday that Ma is willing to report to the legislature after his meeting with Xi in Singapore on November 7.
It will be the first meeting between the two countries’ leaders since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949.