Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislator-elect Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) is likely to become the nation’s first non-Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative speaker on Monday, as the DPP caucus yesterday nominated him for the post.
DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), Legislator Chen Ming-wen (陳明文) and Su had all been interested in running for the speakership, and a vote within the caucus was planned to select a candidate during yesterday morning’s meeting.
However, before the meeting was to begin at 9am, Ker appeared outside the meeting room, along with Chen and Su, all three smiling.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
“I think it is easiest [to solve the issue] if we three talk among ourselves,” Ker said. “We have reached a simple conclusion: to support Su as the party’s candidate for legislative speaker.”
Ker said he is confident that when Su is elected speaker, he will be able to keep the legislature running smoothly, leaving president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) worry-free.
When asked about rumors that he had said he would rather die than withdraw from the speaker election, Ker denied ever making such a remark.
Ker declined to discuss whether he would continue to serve as caucus whip.
The caucus unanimously passed nomination of Su as the DPP’s speaker candidate and the nomination of DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) as deputy speaker candidate.
With an absolute majority of 68 seats, accounting for 60.1 percent of the legislature, the DPP’s candidates are almost certain to win the speakership and deputy speakership.
Ker said he had a sleepless night as negotiations between himself, Su and Chen Ming-wen hosted by Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) at DPP headquarters in Taipei on Thursday failed to generate any concrete results.
“So I called Chen and Su at 7am and asked them to come to my office to discuss the issue,” Ker said.
“We started our meeting at 8am and, after some discussion, we felt we should try to maintain harmony within the party, and should not disappoint the people, nor force the party’s central leadership to intervene in the speaker election, and reached our decision,” Ker added.
On a trip to thank her supporters in Yunlin and Chiayi counties, Tsai Ing-wen welcomed the decision, while denying she had talked Ker out of the race.
“I am happy our caucus members were able to negotiate among themselves to smoothly work out candidates for legislative speaker and deputy speaker,” she said.
“I hope that in the future, we can integrate different opinions within the party on important issues to start the reform agenda as soon as possible, based on the values of solidarity and reform,” she added.
Tsai Ing-wen denied that she had overridden the will of the caucus, as there had been speculation that she preferred Su to serve as speaker.
She said she had merely “reminded” the caucus about the public’s expectations.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut