With support from 15 Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators, a motion demanding the resignation of Prosecutor-General and Special Investigation Division (SID) Secretary-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘), who was at the center of a recent political storm, was put on the legislative agenda yesterday.
A vote on the motion could be held within a month.
The motion against Huang was jointly tabled by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU).
A second round of voting was needed after those backing the motion failed to collect more than half of the votes in the first round.
In the second round, in which only a simple majority was required to win, KMT legislators Yen Kuan-hen (顏寬恒) and Chen Ken-te (陳根德) voted in favor of the motion, joining Lee Ching-hua (李慶華), who had voted to push through the motion in the first round.
Twelve KMT legislators abstained from voting in the second round.
The motion, which demands that Huang step down immediately for his “violations of the Constitution and laws, and disregard of the legislature,” was listed on the legislative agenda following a 46 to 38 vote, with 12 abstentions.
Huang was indicted earlier this month on charges of leaking classified information in violation of the Criminal Code and the Communication Security and Surveillance Act (通訊保障及監察法) during the SID’s pursuit of an improper lobbying case involving Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).
The SID’s handling of investigations into the case led to concerns over a possible failure to uphold judicial independence and due process of law, and also wiretapping abuse.
KMT caucus whip Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said the KMT lawmakers who failed to vote against the motion would not face party discipline because the party did not demand in advance that caucus members toe the party line.
Lee said he would have voted in favor of the motion even if the KMT had decided to impose the whip in the case.
“Huang should have tendered his resignation of his own accord. It will take a long time to regain the public’s trust in the judiciary if he leaves now, not to mention how long it will take if he continues to resist the demand [to step down],” Lee said.