Sat, Jun 02, 2007 - Page 1 News List

DPP calls pan-blues' bluff over Cabinet

PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE The DPP called on the pan-blue camp to follow through on its threat to topple the Cabinet, but the PFP said it would not dance to the DPP's tune

By Shih Hsiu-chuan and Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators hold up banners criticizing the government and the Democratic Progressive Party's performance as Premier Chang Chun-hsiung briefs the Legislative Yuan on his administrative agenda yesterday.

PHOTO: LO PEI-DER, TAIPEI TIMES

A majority of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday signed a motion to hold a no-confidence vote against Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) in a move designed to pre-empt an opposition call to topple the Cabinet.

"What has been going on in the legislature is like a really bad play. It's time to pull down the stage, and for all of us to take a bow," DPP Legislator Chen Chin-de (陳金德), who initiated the move, told a press conference yesterday.

The Constitution stipulates that the president may, within 10 days after legislative approval of a no-confidence vote against the premier, dissolve the legislature.

"The motion is not about boycotting Chang," Cheng said. "As stipulated in the Constitution, toppling the Cabinet would pave the way for a new legislature," Chen said.

At the DPP caucus meeting, 45 of a total of 83 DPP lawmakers signed the proposal, leaving it 26 signatures short of the one-third threshold required to send the motion to the legislature.

Chen urged the People First Party (PFP), which controls 21 seats in the 216-member legislature, to "walk the walk and talk the talk."

The PFP had said after Chang was appointed as premier on May 15 that the party would work with their Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) allies to oust him. However, the pan-blue camp hasn't taken any action since then.

PFP Spokesman Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) yesterday said that the party would not dance to the DPP's tune and would take concerted action with the KMT.

DPP legislative caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) also said there was no reason for lawmakers to topple the premier.

Chen said he had made the proposal to root out legislators who had paralyzed the government, enacted legislation in violation of the Constitution and impaired the legislature's dignity.

In related news, Chang yesterday defended his decision to halt construction of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant project in 2000 during his first premiership.

Chang made the remarks as he briefed the Legislative Yuan on his administrative agenda.

Pan-blue lawmakers held up signs blasting Chang for his decision to suspend the project.

Under tremendous pressure here and abroad because of existing contracts to build the plant, construction was later restarted.

"Building a non-nuclear homeland was a campaign promise made by President Chen Shui-bian [陳水扁]," Chang told the legislature. "As Chen was elected, of course, he had to fulfill his promise."

"Legislative approval is not required to halt the execution of an approved budget," Chang said.

Chang yesterday also called on the legislature to pass this year's central government budget.

The budget, which should have been passed last November as stipulated in the Budget Law (預算法), has been stalled in the legislature because of an opposition boycott.

The opposition parties have demanded that amendments to the Organic Law of the Central Election Commission (中央選舉委員會組織法) be reviewed ahead of a budget screening.

The pan-blue proposal calls for selecting commission members in proportion to the parties' number of seats in the legislature, which would give the pan-blues control of the commission. Members are currently nominated by the premier and appointed by the president.

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