The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday called for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to apologize and step down over his low approval rating and what they said was his infringement of the Constitution amid the ongoing wiretapping controversy involving Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).
“We think that Ma is no longer fit to serve as president,” DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said at a luncheon with Taiwanese businesspeople yesterday.
In 2007, Ma called on then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) to step down becuase his approval rating at the time had fallen to 18 percent, Su said, adding that Ma, who has an approval rating of 9.2 percent, should “practice what he preached.”
The Ma administration has violated the principle of the separation of powers by allowing the Supreme Prosectors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) to abuse of its authority and wiretap members of the Legislative Yuan, Su said.
Most importantly, Ma, who pledged there would be no illegal or political wiretapping under his administration, broke his promise and should learn from former US president Richard Nixon, who offered his resignation following the Watergate scandal in 1972, by resigning, Su said.
Former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) echoed Su’s call, saying in a press release that Ma “should give serious thought to whether he is still suitable for the job.”
The judicial system’s abuse of power in the case has been obvious and Ma could also be involved in the scandal, which is why the fairness and independence of the Ministry of Justice’s special investigation panel is questionable, she said.
Tsai urged the suspension of judicial officials related to the case, including Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘), pending further investigation and called for a special committee to be established under the Legislative Yuan.
“President Ma should face his responsibility, and the people, with honesty because he was the one who sparked the political strife and the row is worse than the Watergate scandal, in terms of the abuse of power and the ensuing constitutional crisis,” Tsai said.
The DPP caucus told a press conference yesterday morning that the ministry’s special investigation panel would not be fair because Justice Minister Lo Ying-shay (羅瑩雪) already said that the SID’s wiretaps on the legislature were “unintentional.”
The DPP is going to call an international press conference today to address the wiretapping scandal and a party meeting to weigh in on its next appropriate step among the four available options of recall, impeachment, motion of no confidence and interpretation of the Constitution against the Ma administration, DPP caucus director-general Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) said.