The Control Yuan yesterday voted 6-4 to impeach former Council of Agriculture (COA) chairman Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) for illegally constructing a luxury farmhouse on agricultural land without engaging in any agriculture.
“Su used his administrative privileges during his terms as Pingtung County commissioner, minister of the interior and COA chairman to build a farmhouse on an agricultural land as a mansion for his own use. None of the equipment or the remaining land were found to be used for agriculture, which constitutes a violation of the Agricultural Development Act (農業發展條例),” the Control Yuan told a press conference following a meeting to discuss the case.
Su, the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) candidate for vice president in the January presidential election, was embroiled in controversy in the run-up to the election for building the farmhouse on agricultural land in Pingtung County for residential use.
To end months of controversy, Su donated his farmhouse and the farmland to the county’s Changchih (長治) Township Office in October last year and moved his family away from the property.
According to the impeachment statement, in addition to the agricultural land, other farming and grazing land registered under Su’s name was used for Su’s ancestral graves, while the farmhouse itself occupied some township-owned land “with an alleged intention of long-term occupation of state property” and was therefore deemed to violate the Non-urban Land Use Control Regulations (非都市土地使用管制規則).
“As a long-time public servant, Su should have abided by the regulations and set a good example, but instead, he was involved in two cases of illegal land use, used his privileges for personal gain and deliberately broke the laws,” the statement said.
“In light of Su’s aforementioned wrongdoings and his later refusal to undergo Control Yuan questioning, which constituted a breach of the Civil Servants Work Act (公務員服務法), the Control Yuan voted in favor of impeachment and referred Su to the Judicial Yuan’s Commission on the Disciplinary Sanctions of Functionaries for deliberation,” it said.
DPP spokesperson Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said the decision showed the “decadence” of the Control Yuan and “exactly why” it had lost people’s trust and confidence.
Su’s case and the Yu Chang Biologics Co (宇昌生技股份有限公司) case involving former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) were both “obvious mud-slinging campaign tactics and political maneuvers” during the presidential campaign, he said.
“While the courts ruled that Su and Tsai were innocent, the Control Yuan still won’t let go and appears determined to pursue the cases to the very end,” Lin said.
“The DPP cannot accept the decision, plain and simple,” Lin said.
At a press conference at Tsai’s foundation, where he now serves as a board member, Su said the decision was a political maneuver “even after the presidential election.”
“Is it necessary for the Control Yuan to come up with the politically motivated impeachment more than six months after the presidential election?” Su asked.