Tue, Oct 31, 2000 - Page 1 News List

KMT moves to recall the president

CONFLICTING VIEWSAt odds with the KMT, the PFP still wants a vote of no confidence in the premier, making concerted action to remove Chen Shui-bian much more difficult

By Lin Mei-chun  /  STAFF REPORTER

Legislators from opposition parties make a gesture of solidarity after agreeing on a number of joint actions against Chen Shui-bian and the Executive Yuan yesterday.


The KMT began a push to recall President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday amid the furor over the cancellation of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant on Friday.

The party's legislative caucus approved a proposal by Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) to recall the president, a decision endorsed by KMT Secretary-General Lin Feng-cheng (林豐正) and backed by the New Party.

It did not, however, get the immediate backing of the People First Party (PFP), which prefers to initiate a motion of no confidence against the premier in the legislature.

The KMT decision came in the wake of a meeting between the caucus representatives of the three opposition parties in an attempt to form an alliance and coordinate their attack on the government.

The meeting reached a consensus on several smaller matters such as changing the agenda of today's legislative session from interpellation of the premier to a review session on the government budget, breaking off communications with the legislative caucus of the DPP and making Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) unwelcome at the legislature.

The meeting was attended by PFP Legislator Diane Lee (李慶安), New Party caucus convener Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) and KMT caucus whip Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權).

A statement, which was read by Tseng after the meeting, said that Chang had ridiculed the authority of the legislature by abruptly declaring a halt to the construction of the power plant, without consulting lawmakers.

In accordance with another agreement, Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) did not attend a meeting with the heads of the five branches of government held by the president last night.

At today's legislative session, as well as discussing the review of the 2001 budget, lawmakers are also expected to propose a number of measures aimed at increasing the legislature's authority over the executive branch, including the Law Governing Legislators' Exercise of Power, amendments to the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Law (總統副總統選舉罷免法) and the new Budget Law.

Recall facts

* Vote of no confidence:

- Requires a motion signed by one-third of Legislative Yuan members, and passage needs support from a simple majority.

- If the no-confidence vote passes, the president must nominate a new premier, who then forms a new cabinet, but the president can also dissolve the lawmaking body and call elections.

* Recall of a president:

- Requires a motion from one-fourth of legislators and needs support from two-thirds for passage.

- If the dismissal is approved by lawmakers, a popular referendum is held.

- If over half of the voters approve the dismissal, new elections are held.

Source: Reuters

The three parties' agreement on less important measures did not help them resolve the central issue preventing concerted action against the Chen-Chang administration, the question of recalling the president or proposing a vote of no confidence in the premier.

The KMT is loath to support a no-confidence motion because if it passes, the president is likely to use his constitutional power to dissolve the legislature and call fresh elections -- in which the KMT is likely to do poorly, to the benefit of the PFP.

In proposing the recall of the president yesterday, Ting said that the re-election of legislators wouldn't help end the current political fiasco, adding that recalling the president was the only solution, otherwise a new legislature would still have to face a dominant president.

The PFP's Lee, on the other hand, said to recall the president would create more social disruption and spoke strongly in favor of the no-confidence vote.

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