TAIPEI–Opposition party lawmakers formally submitted a proposal yesterday to invite President Ma Ying-jeou to deliver a state of the nation report at the Legislature to address a U.S. beef row, fuel price hikes and other issues.
The proposal, made by the caucuses of the People First Party (PFP), the Democratic Progressive Party and the Taiwan Solidarity Union, will be put to a voice vote of the full Legislature and pass if there are no objections. The Kuomintang (KMT), with 64 seats in the 113-member body, could block the proposal if it wanted to, but KMT caucus whip Lin Hung-chih would not reveal his party’s stance on the idea, saying only that the Legislature needed to abide by the Constitution. He also stressed that the president has the right to decide whether to present such a report or not. The proposal comes at a time when the government is under fire for its policy to conditionally lift a ban on imports of American beef containing the leanness-enhancing drug ractopamine and its recent decision to raise fuel prices by roughly 10 percent. A second generation health insurance program, set to be implemented in 2013, tax reforms and urban renewal policies have also been closely scrutinized in recent weeks.