KMT attempts to cut administration budget blocked

Taipei-- As a minority in the Legislative Yuan, lawmakers of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) have few resources to get what they want, which has been illustrated after at least three budget cut proposals they proposed were rejected Thursday.

They included the proposal to slash the budget for the Cabinet-level Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), which was denied in an extraordinary session of the Legislative Yuan earlier in the day.

The party caucus brought up the proposed cut, saying the budget plan for the MAC was "not thoughtful" would not be able to help improve the current stagnant relations between Taiwan and China amid a slowdown in cross-Taiwan Strait interaction.

The caucus also said that Chang Hsiao-yueh (???), chief of the Mainland Affairs Council, should be blamed for the fact that cross-strait ties have been frozen since May 20, 2016, when Tsai Ing-wen (???) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) took office as president.

The MAC "has obviously misjudged the situation," the KMT caucus said, demanding that the council outline response strategies within a month and deliver a report about its misjudgment to the legislative Internal Administration Committee within two months.

The budget cut proposal and the demand for the MAC report, however, were both voted down as the DPP caucus mobilized its voters.

The DPP currently controls 68 seats in the Legislative Yuan, while the KMT has only 35 of the total 113 seats. As for other seats, the New Power Party has five seats, the People First Party has three, and the Non-Partisan Solidarity Alliance and the independent each has one seat.

Another rejected KMT proposal was aimed at slashing the budget for the Ill-Gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee and disbanding the committee altogether.

The Ill-Gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee was set up by the Cabinet in August 2016 based on the Statute on Handling the Inappropriate Assets of Political Parties and Their Affiliated Organizations. The statute was enacted by the DPP-dominated Legislature in July that same year.

Under the law, most of the KMT's properties have been frozen pending investigations by the committee into the assets held by the veteran political party.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel