Mon, May 14, 2012 - Page 1 News List

DPP caucus divided on impeachment

REASON SPEAKS:While pro-impeachment lawmakers say that the action would voice public dissatisfaction, opponents say it risks causing turmoil and tainting the DPP’s image

By Chiu Yen-ling  /  Staff reporter

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus could explore launching efforts to impeach President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) at a meeting of the legislature’s Procedure Committee tomorrow and will explain its decision today, DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said yesterday.

Ker said the DPP Central Committee had already established a special panel to discuss impeaching Ma, with DPP Central Standing Committee member Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) as convener.

The panel had already discussed the possibility of impeaching Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers, Ker said.

The DPP caucus on Friday discussed whether to target Ma and call for his impeachment, but the meeting saw both opposition to and support for the idea, Ker said.

Supporters of impeachment said that despite the legal difficulties involved in the motion, the party should give voice to public -discontent, Ker said, adding that impeachment, whose supporters mostly draw from factions identifying who follow Hsieh and former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), would “leave a mark.”

DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋), who supports the move, said elections and impeachment were opposite sides of a coin, adding that since the public elected Ma as president, they also have the right to impeach him.

Although the act of impeaching a president is still under a one-year limitation, public discontent toward the Ma administration is already showing, Lee said, adding that “the DPP caucus should appropriately reflect the will of the people and state their will.”

The restriction refers to limitations outlined in Article 70 of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act (總統副總統選舉罷免法).

However, other DPP members hold a more conservative outlook, with some legislators saying that raising the impeachment case at this time would only serve to unify the KMT and silence those within the KMT who are dissatisfied with Ma’s performance.

“It would be helping the KMT to divert the focus of the people from the ineptitude of the Ma --administration and let them pose a united front,” the opposing DPP legislators said, adding that the motion would also leave the public with the impression that the DPP “is a source of turmoil.”

Impeachment is a counterbalance and the DPP caucus is considering the viability of such a motion as well as keeping an eye on the general mood within society, Ker said.

Translated by Jake Chung, staff writer

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