Premier’s policy speech to Legislative Yuan still up in the air

Despite a face-to-face meeting between Premier Jiang Yi-huah and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng which kindled hopes of a reconciliation between ruling and opposition forces in the government, the DPP legislative caucus is still holding to its insistence that the premier apologize to the people of Taiwan before they will permit him to deliver a policy speech to and break the impasse which has stymied progress in the current session of the Legislative Yuan.

Although the current session opened September 17, little progress has been made in breaking a deadlock caused by boycotts and blocking of the podium to prevent Jiang from delivering a speech required by the Constitution to open proceedings. The premier has already appeared unsuccessfully before the legislators five times only to be prevented from taking the podium, and now will attempt to meet with representatives of the opposition camp on Tuesday, October 8, to discuss the situation. The DPP caucus is holding out for the abolishment of the Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office and other conditions including an apology from Jiang,

KMT legislator Lin Yu-fang said in an interview that he talked with President Ma Ying-jeou on the phone Saturday. He recounted that he asked Ma whether the president’s announcement that he will not further appeal the ongoing round of suits and countersuits between the KMT and Wang Jin-pyng is intended as an overture to Wang, and noted that Ma answered in the affirmative, saying the decision is indeed an expression of goodwill to the Legislative Speaker.

KMT caucus secretary Lin Te-fu told an interviewer that Jiang Yi-huah may have a chance to approach the podium at the Legislative Yuan Tuesday. Lin added, however, that there are still some differences of opinion within the DPP that may act to complicate negotiations in the matter. He said he hopes Wang Jin-pyng will communicate with relevant members of the opposition party to help smooth the way for the Premier .

KMT legislators Liao Cheng-chuan and Huang Chao-shun have recommended that Premier Jiang meet with opposition groups to understand their position in the standoff and initiate a real dialogue using reasonable language. Lin Yu-fang also says that an apology from the premier will probably be in order before the Green Camp can be persuaded to abandon their boycott of Legislative proceedings and drop their opposition to reconciliation efforts by the Blue Camp .

At the same time, DPP General Convener Ker Chien-ming, who was at the center of the influence peddling scandal that precipitated the current crisis in government, remains adamant in his position toward Jiang and the Ma government: "The premier brought about the constitutional chaos and should be replaced. What else is there to talk about? Fake actions are of no use, and the Ma government must not be allowed to cheat us any more!" insists Ker. He says that Premier Jiang must sincerely apologize to the people of Taiwan, then maybe the people will forgive him.

DPP Group Secretary Wu Bingrui sought to clarify the issue by noting that the DPP is not actively supporting Wang Jin-pyng, rather it is supporting the constitutional framework and the Legislative Yuan. Wu added that whether Wang Jin-pyng and Jiang Yi-huah reach an understanding with each other is of no direct interest to the DPP. He said the DPP insists that Jiang offer an apology to the people solely for the sake of preserving the nation’s constitutional framework.