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DPP, KMT to head equal number of legislative committees

02/29/2024 05:07 PM
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Staff count votes in the election for the heads of the Finance Committee. CNA photo Feb. 29, 2024
Staff count votes in the election for the heads of the Finance Committee. CNA photo Feb. 29, 2024

Taipei, Feb. 29 (CNA) The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the major opposition Kuomintang (KMT) dominated the vote in the Legislature on Thursday to elect the heads of the eight standing committees, with each of the two parties gaining an equal number of committee chairpersons.

Under the Legislature's rules, each committee has two conveners, who have the authority to decide their committees' agenda, which meant that all three legislative caucuses were vying for the positions.

At the conclusion of the vote, however, the DPP and KMT had each gained eight seats at the head of the committees, squeezing out the smaller opposition Taiwan People's Party (TPP).

Following the general elections in Taiwan on Jan. 13, the KMT now holds 52 of the 113 seats in the Legislature, while the DPP has 51, and the TPP eight, while the remaining two are held by independents.

Before the committee chairperson vote on Thursday, TPP caucus whip Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) had told reporters that all eight TPP lawmakers would back the KMT.

Some news commentators had also forecast that the KMT lawmakers on the Transportation Committee would vote for TPP Legislator Lin Kuo-cheng (林國成) as one the conveners, but that did not happen.

The two convener seats on the Transportation Committee were won by the KMT's Chen Hsueh-shen (陳雪生), with eight votes, and the DPP's Lee Kun-tse (李昆澤), with seven votes.

The election of the Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee conveners saw the KMT's Wang Yu-min (王育敏) winning with the backing of all seven KMT lawmakers and the one TPP lawmaker on that committee. The other convener, Huang Hsiou-fang (黃秀芳) of the DPP, was elected with six votes.

Following her election, Wang invited TPP Legislator Chen Gau-tzu (陳昭姿), a long-time advocate of surrogacy, to join in a group photo with KMT lawmakers, as they chanted a slogan vowing to push forward an artificial reproduction bill that has been languishing in the Legislature for almost 30 years.

Meanwhile, the KMT's Wu Tsung-hsien (吳宗憲) and the DPP's Chung Chia-pin (鍾佳濱) won the convener seats on the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee with seven and six votes, respectively.

The Foreign and National Defense Committee elected Ma Wen-chun (馬文君) of the KMT and Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) of the DPP, who gained seven and six votes, respectively.

On the Internal Administration Committee, independent Legislator Kao Chin Su-mei (高金素梅) was elected with the backing of KMT and TPP lawmakers, while the DPP's Wu Chi-ming (吳琪銘) got six votes to become the other convener.

KMT Legislator Lo Ming-tsai (羅明才) and DPP Legislator Kuo Kuo-wen (郭國文) were voted as the co-chairs of the Finance Committee, with Lo getting eight votes, and Kuo six.

The KMT's Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊瓔) and the DPP's Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) will head the Economics Committee, having gained eight and six votes, respectively, in Thursday's election.

(By Wang Cheng-chung, Wang Yang-Yu, Chen Chun-hua, Kuo Chien-shen, Fan Cheng-hsiang, Lin Ching-yin and Sean Lin)

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