Thu, May 24, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: A no-confidence vote may backfire

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has indicated it is now considering joining forces with the People First Party (PFP) to launch a no-confidence vote against newly sworn-in Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄).

According to KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), many KMT legislators are looking forward to such an alliance "because of Chang's poor performance during his first premiership" between October 2000 and February 2002.

Hopefully Wu was not bluffing. But if it turns out that both the KMT and the PFP are bluffing, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) -- given the absurdity in the legislature -- should seriously consider launching its own campaign to topple the premier.

While it may appear bizarre at first glance to have the governing party launch a no-confidence vote to oust its own premier, such an approach might be necessary in order to put the madness that is the current Legislative Yuan to rest.

If a no-confidence vote passes, the president has the authority to dismiss the legislature. A new legislative election would then be called, offering an opportunity for all the political parties -- especially incumbent legislators -- to face public scrutiny.

Forget about the country's well-being. Looking at the opposition-controlled legislative agenda for tomorrow shows just how much the 2008 presidential elections and Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) candidacy is in the minds of pan-blue lawmakers.

According to Friday's schedule, the KMT-proposed amendment to the Organic Law of the National Communications Commission (國家通訊傳播委員會組織法) is placed first, followed by a KMT-proposed amendment to the Audit Law (審計法), which is aimed at clearing Ma of embezzlement charges.

The amendment states that all special allowances claimed by officials before the end of last year should be seen as "substantial subsidies."

Passage of the amendment would decriminalize the behavior that led to Ma's indictment on corruption charges after he allegedly wired half of his monthly special allowance fund directly into a personal account during his stint as Taipei mayor from 1998 to last year.

Unsurprisingly, the bill to amend the Organic Law of the Central Election Commission (中選會組織法) is once again placed ahead of the Budget Act (預算法), which is the fourth item on the agenda.

Given the repeated brawls that have broken out while the DPP has tried to block a vote on the KMT-proposed CEC bill -- which would give the pan-blue camp a majority in the commission if passed -- chances of the government budget being reviewed in Friday's session look slim.

The Budget Act stipulates that the legislature finish its review of budget requests at least one month before the end of its fiscal year. Now June is a week away and a budget review is still in limbo. Shame on the legislature.

The pan-blue camp is also proposing amendments to the Farmers' Association Law (農會法) and Fishermen's Association Law (漁會法) that seek to cancel three-term limits for secretaries-general within the associations and lower the requirements of employment renewal, clearly aimed at increasing support for the KMT for the coming legislative and presidential elections.

How long can the public allow this absurdity to go on, allowing the pan-blue camp to exploit their majority in the legislature not for the sake of the country but for their own selfish interests?

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