Sat, Nov 01, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Blue camp secures Control Yuan probe

By Fiona Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Pan-blue lawmakers used their numerical advantage to pass two resolutions yesterday asking the Control Yuan to investigate the conduct of certain Cabinet members, as the legislature voted to resume its review of the annual budget.

The legislature resolved that Control Yuan members should investigate Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics head Hale Liu (劉三錡) and five ministers for alleged legal violations in mapping out the budget.

The Control Yuan should also probe the conduct of Cabinet Spokesman Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍), Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and People First Party (PFP) lawmakers said when they filed the resolution.

The Control Yuan should correct or impeach these Cabinet members found to have broken the law, the resolution stated.

The KMT-PFP alliance originally wanted to include Premier Yu Shyi-kun in the investigation, but removed Yu from the list after legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) intervened.

"The removal of the premier [from the list] showed the legislature's respect to Yu after he promised that he never called the legislative resolution unlawful and unconstitutional," Wang said.

Wang and Yu held a closed-door meeting ahead of yesterday's legislative assembly in a last-ditch effort to end the budget stalemate.

Yu expressed his gratitude for lawmakers' decision to go ahead with the budgetary review, but said he was not pleased with the resolution against Lin and other Cabinet members.

"The Cabinet looks forward to having more communication with lawmakers on the resolution. We sincerely hope that lawmakers can separate political wrangling over the election from the review of the budget," Yu said.

Lin accused the pan-blue camp of using the Control Yuan to get at the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration.

"The KMT and PFP formulated the request for a Control Yuan investigation to create an edge in next year's presidential election," Lin said.

He questioned why the blue camp had changed its mind on the budgetary review after harshly criticizing it one month ago.

Commenting on the resolution, Liu said lawmakers may have become confused over the nature of a budget bill.

He said the lawmakers' claim about the Cabinet's legal violation is not valid since the budget bill cannot become law until passed by the legislature.

Liu added that it is normal for the Executive Yuan to present a budgetary bill that contains future administrative plans, while legislators are empowered to remove controversial parts of the bill during their examination.

DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) defended the Cabinet spokesman and said the party was considering asking for a constitutional interpretation on the legislative resolutions.

"The Control Yuan members should reject the resolution since the resolutions were legally debatable," Tsai said.

He said the KMT and PFP abandoned the conventional practice of sending back the budgetary bill to Executive Yuan and instead tried to interfere with the administrative branch in creating the spending plan.

"That is far from the spirit of constitutional politics," he said.

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