Fri, Jan 21, 2005 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: Pan-blues disregard public interest

Judging from the way things look, there will be no Control Yuan members reporting for duty for a while. The pan-blue legislative caucuses yesterday still refused to even review the nominations made by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). The only viable solution to the standoff is to have the Legislative Yuan hold an interim session to review the nominations before the next session officially begins. However, the pan-blues have said no even to this proposal, inviting criticism that their real purpose is simply to make Chen look bad and to show their might.

What is so ridiculous about this whole thing is not that the pan-blues are unhappy with the list of nominees presented for its approval; after all, it is virtually impossible to come up with a list that is acceptable to all. The puzzling thing is this: The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the People First Party do not even want to look at the list. They have thus far abused their legislative majority by refusing to even place the review of the nominations on the agenda.

If they think that any particular nominees are ill-qualified or if they simply don't like someone, they can just vote "no" to these individuals' nominations. As a matter of fact, if they are so unhappy with the entire list, they can reject each and every nominee.

What this really amounts to is a refusal on the part of the pan-blue legislators to perform their duty to review and approve or disapprove the president's nominations. According to Article 7 of the Additional Articles of the Constitution, members of the Control Yuan are to be chosen by nomination by the president and with the consent of the Legislative Yuan. In other words, the Constitution stipulates that the Legislative Yuan must participate in the decision-making process for the appointment of Control Yuan members. While there is no requirement that the legislature must give its consent, it cannot refuse flat-out to even review the nominations.

Leaving aside the issue of the constitutionality of the pan-blue lawmakers' conduct, they have also betrayed the voters' confidence and trust by refusing to perform their duty.

Moreover, between the scenario in which the pan-blues simply reject the candidates they feel are ill-qualified and then have the president make alternative nominations for just those vacancies, on the one hand, and the scenario in which the president resubmits a totally new list that is acceptable to the pan-blue camp, the end result will be pretty much the same, except that the second scenario will make the president look bad -- like a schoolboy being instructed to redo his homework.

Actually, since his election Chen has made many progressive reforms to the manner in which Control Yuan nominees are produced. In the past, the president made the decision himself, behind closed doors. Chen has implemented a system in which others can also make recommendations, after which special committees are established by the president to review these recommendations. The entire nomination process is highly transparent. Under the circumstances, it is indeed difficult to imagine that Chen's list could be unacceptable in its entirety.

The public has the most to lose due to such unreasonable bickering between politicians. As a result of the pan-blue lawmakers' refusal to perform their duty, several important national examinations -- including the licensing examinations for doctors, nurses and technicians, may be postponed, since legally speaking these tests must be monitored by members of the Control Yuan. It is truly regretful that the pan-blues have failed to place the public interest above all else.

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