Sat, Jul 05, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Legislative Yuan accepts Wang but rejects Shen

By Shih Hsiu-Chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Shen Fu-hsiung talks to reporters after the Legislative Yuan rejected his nomination for Control Yuan vice president yesterday. He said that the decision might turn out to be a good thing for him.

PHOTO: WANG YI-SUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

The legislature yesterday approved Wang Chien-shien’s (王建火宣) nomination as president of the Control Yuan, but rejected the nominee for vice president of the Control Yuan, Shen Fu-hsiung (沈富雄), who failed to win support from either the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) or Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucuses.

Although KMT legislators had agreed at a caucus meeting prior to the vote to give Wang their full support, Wang received only 74 affirmative votes from the 112-seat legislature. Thirty-six votes were cast against Wang and one ballot was blank.

As all 27 DPP lawmakers rejected Wang as they had agreed to do prior to the vote, up to 10 KMT lawmakers may have voted against Wang.

The KMT has 81 seats and its ally the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union, has four.

The KMT and DPP caucuses agreed to an open vote on Shen, who received 51 votes in favor of his appointment, six votes short of the threshold for approving his nomination, while 54 legislators voted against appointing Shen and six cast blank votes.

The Law Governing the Legislative Yuan’s Exercise of Power (立法院職權行使法) stipulates that the president’s nominations for the Control Yuan must pass the legislature by a simple majority, or 57 votes.

“The voting results reflected the KMT legislative caucus’ intention of embarrassing President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九). Ma was the loser in the review vote,” DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) told a press conference after the vote.

“The vote showed that internal conflict in the KMT is fierce ... [the party] is not at Ma’s command,” DPP caucus whip William Lai (賴清德) said.

KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) arrived at the legislature early yesterday to make sure KMT lawmakers would support the nominees before the voting on Wang and Shen and came again in the afternoon before the vote on the other 27 Control Yuan members.

Asked for a comment on Shen’s rejection, Wu said he was “a bit surprised” and that Shen had received 20 votes fewer than he had expected.

“Although the caucus meeting decided to allow lawmakers to make their own decisions concerning Shen, we [the party] actually supported his appointment in principle,” Wu said.

DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅) said he felt sorry for Shen and that the KMT and Ma had toyed with him.

Lee urged Shen to continue his work as a political commentator and analyze the performance of the government.

KMT Legislator Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟) said that many KMT lawmakers had doubted Shen’s qualifications for the position because of his conviction on charges of illegally importing medicines from the US in the early 1990s when he was a renal disease physician.

Shen protested his innocence during a question-and-answer session with legislators, Lu said.

Certain KMT legislators have also expressed concern over allegations that Shen, together with Chen You-hao (陳由豪), the founder of the now-defunct Tuntex Group, gave political donations to former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) in 1994 when her husband was running for Taipei mayor.

Chen fled abroad in 2001 and was placed by judicial authorities on a most-wanted list after a series of financial scandals emerged that allegedly involved him.

At a separate setting, Shen, when approached for comment, said yesterday he didn’t regret the results of the vote, adding that “I am not a person who is well loved by [the DPP and the KMT], but neither am I extremely hated by either camp.”

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