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Lawmakers may meet next week to decide on extra session

Lawmakers may meet next week to decide on extra session

Taipei, July 31 (CNA) A coordination meeting among lawmakers from across party lines has been set for Aug. 4 to decide whether an extra legislative session should be held to discuss controversial curriculum revisions to senior high school textbooks by the Education Ministry, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng announced Friday.
Wang made the announcement even though lawmakers of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) and opposition parties failed to reach consensus on holding an extra session during a two-hour round of cross-party negotiations that was also attended by Education Minister We Se-hua.
Wang expressed hope that the implementation of curriculum changes set for Aug. 1 could be held off and added he has asked the executive branch to rethink his proposal.
According to the Republic of China Constitution, the Legislative Yuan is entitled to hold an extra session at the request of the president or more than a quarter of the legislators.
Meanwhile, the main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) have expressed willingness to hold the extra session.
Ke Chien-ming, a DPP legislative caucus whip, demanded a delay in the implementation of the disputed curriculum revisions until the extra session is held.
According to TSU legislative caucus whip Lai Chen-chang, Wu said during Friday's meeting that the curriculum adjustments were published back in February and that the new textbooks have already been printed. Any delay in implementing the curriculum adjustments will result in students starting the new school year with no textbooks, Wu was quoated by Lai.
Lai Shyi-bao, head of the KMT's Central Policy Committee, said the party will convene a meeting with its legislative caucus members to discuss whether they will agree to have an extra session.
A group of students have been staging protests for more than a month over the Education Ministry's planned curriculum guideline changes for high school history textbooks, which they describe as having deviated from a "Taiwan-centric" standpoint.
A total of 33 people, including 24 students, were detained July 24 after they broke in to the Education Ministry's building the previous night.
One of the arrested student protest leaders killed himself July 30, further fueling the anger of the other protesters who demanded the resignation of Wu and an extra legislative session to review the disputed curriculum exchanges. (By Y.C. Tai and Flor Wang)


Updated : 2021-09-26 18:59 GMT+08:00