Tue, Oct 17, 2006 - Page 1 News List

KMT pulls back on no-confidence vote

TIMING IS CRUCIAL The Chinese Nationalist Party said that it would not push for, or support, a no-confidence vote against Premier Su Tseng-chang this Friday

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus said yesterday that the party would not set a no-confidence vote against Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) in motion for the moment, leaving the People First Party (PFP) to face the difficult task of collecting enough endorsements to make the proposal on Friday.

The KMT caucus reached the decision at a meeting with the party's policy committee, KMT legislator Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) said.

Tseng said that "there is not enough time to deal with the motion of no-confidence by Friday."

Bad timing

"The timing [for a recall motion] hinges on the prosecutor's investigation into [President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁)] special allowance scandal and the completion of a redistricting plan [needed if Chen decides to dismiss the legislature should the premier be driven from office,]" Tseng said.

The PFP had threatened to propose a no-confidence motion against Su on Friday. The motion had gained the support of 47 lawmakers from the KMT caucus.

KMT caucus whip Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) said that the party's lawmakers needed to withdraw their signatures when the decision is finalized in tomorrow's Central Standing Committee meeting.

The Central Standing Committee is the KMT's policy-making arm.

Tsai said the decision was reached after discussions, rather than through a straw vote as planned, to show the party's solidarity on the issue.

The Central Standing Committee will make a final decision on the party's next move in its weekly meeting tomorrow.

The PFP, which controls only 22 seats in the Legislative Yuan, won the endorsement of 76 lawmakers last Friday -- exceeding the legal threshold of one-third, or 74 of the lawmakers in the 220-member legislature -- to refer the motion to the Legislative Yuan.

PFP legislative whips called a press conference to criticize the KMT late yesterday.

Going ahead

Although one KMT lawmaker and one Non-Partisan Solidarity Union lawmaker withdrew their endorsements for the proposal earlier in the day, the PFP said it is still poised to submit the proposal for a vote by lawmakers.

"Without the [KMT's] support, our motion to hold a no-confidence vote is tantamount to a blank cartridge," PFP Spokesman Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said.

Nevertheless, Lee said that the party's plan to bring up the motion on Friday remained the same.

"If one member takes back his endorsement, we will find another one to make up for it," Lee said.

The PFP has worked with the KMT on the legislative agenda, but PFP caucus whip Cheng Chin-ling (鄭金玲) said that the party would not necessarily work together with the KMT in the future if the KMT did not support the no-confidence vote on Su.

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