After a month-long delay, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) finally delivered his policy address at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, even as opposition lawmakers continued to call for his resignation to allow the nation to rebuild itself after the recent political strife.
Lawmakers from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) and the People First Party held a joint press conference demanding Jiang’s resignation at 10am outside the legislative building, while Jiang and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers celebrated his surviving a no-confidence vote on Tuesday.
The failure of the no-confidence vote signifies “the start of a people’s movement to topple President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九)” because the public wants Ma to step down so the country can end the “evil of governing by secret agents, defend the constitutional system and rebuild itself,” the opposition parties said.
Jiang started presenting his policy report at noon after first bowing, out of formality, to Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who has been at the center of the recent political turmoil ignited by Ma’s accusations that Wang improperly used his influence in a breach-of-trust case involving DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘).
While Jiang read out his policy report, DPP lawmakers were noticeably absent from the session as a show of their dissatisfaction with the premier, while three TSU lawmakers held placards with slogans that showed their discontent over accusations of illegal wiretapping of the legislature’s main telephone line, the cross-strait service trade agreement and the latest increase in electricity rates.
A number of KMT lawmakers sat on the floor listening to Jiang’s report, and applauded and hugged him after the presentation.
Speaking to the media afterwards, Wang thanked the DPP for allowing Jiang to deliver his report, which should have been given on Sept 17 when the legislative convened the session.
The defeat of the no-confidence motion signifies a “new mandate” in support of Jiang addressing the legislature, Wang said.
During the question-and-answer session following Jiang’s report, DPP lawmakers focused on issues related to the controversies arising from the government’s handling of the allegations of improper use of influence.
Ker, who was accused by the Special Investigation Division (SID) of lobbying Wang to prevent prosecutors from appealing his not guilty verdict in the breach-of-trust case, spent his alloted 30 minutes denouncing Ma and Jiang and accusing them of political conspiracy.
He said the plot was conceived when then-Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) and then-KMT Culture and Communication Committee director Hsiao Hsu-tsen (蕭旭岑) flew to the US in July to discuss with Representative to the US King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) information that the SID obtained from wiretapping his phone in late June.
Ma had his mind set on waging a war against both Wang and himself, when Ma met with King during his stopover in New York en route to Paraguay in August, Ker said.
“You [Jiang] had better not take it for granted that the defeat of the no-confidence vote would ensure your premiership for one year. About a year ago, former premier Sean Chen was here after he survived a no-confidence vote, but he stepped down four months later. History repeats itself,” Ker said.