Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) breathed a sigh of relief yesterday after the no-confidence motion against Jiang failed, while the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) tried to regroup in its fight against President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration.
The proposal, jointly tabled by the DPP and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), was rejected by a margin of 67 to 45, with all 112 legislators voting along party lines. All 65 KMT lawmakers and two other lawmakers voted against the motion, while the votes in favor came from the DPP’s 40 lawmakers, the TSU’s three and two from the People First Party.
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), whose KMT membership was revoked after Ma and the KMT accused him of improper lobbying, voted against the proposal.
KMT Policy Committee executive director Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said the failure of the motion “signified the reaffirmation of the premier.”
He also urged the DPP to acknowledge “a new beginning” by allowing Jiang deliver his policy report to the legislature on Friday.
The DPP caucus said it was extremely disappointed with its KMT colleagues for siding with the Ma administration and ignoring public opinion that Jiang should step down for his poor performance and violating the Constitution.
DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said the caucus would boycott all interparty negotiations indefinitely because KMT lawmakers had betrayed the public.
Prior to the 9:30am to 11am vote, which used the disclosed ballot method, the DPP and the KMT both held caucus meetings.
With the KMT saying that anyone who voted for the motion would face party discipline, there was little suspense over the outcome.
Non-Partisan Solidarity Union Legislator May Chin (高金素梅) and independent Legislator Chen Shuen-sheng (陳雪生) decided to side with the KMT, leaving the opposition alliance with no gains from its lobbying.
The result was similar to the no-confidence motion that the DPP proposed in September last year against then-premier Sean Chen, who survived by a vote of 66 to 46, but was replaced by Jiang in February.
As soon as the results were announced, Jiang went to the Legislative Yuan to thank Wang and the KMT lawmakers. He met with Wang privately for eight minutes before he was greeted by KMT lawmakers outside of the legislature’s assembly hall with hugs, cheers and applause.
A smiling Jiang said he felt “a much stronger sense of duty” to carry out policies that benefit the public. He said he was “very happy” with the result and vowed to focus on policies to boost the economy in return for the support he received.
“Since the no-confidence motion was voted down, our team has a much stronger sense of duty because we know that people expect us to do more and better. We will do our best under the legislature’s oversight to live up to the public’s expectations,” he said.
Jiang said he thanked Wang for voting against the motion and for his efforts at managing legislative proceedings.
Jiang’s role in what has been described as a political vendetta waged by Ma against Wang in a bid to strip the latter of his KMT membership and speakership had left the relationship between Jiang and the legislature strained since the session began on Sept. 17.
The opposition parties have blocked Jiang from taking the podium at six floor meetings to deliver his policy address to convene a new regular session of the legislature, which would have been followed by a question-and-answer session between the premier and lawmakers.