The Legislative Yuan yesterday approved the nominees for Judicial Yuan president, vice president and five grand justices, despite an attempt by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers to block the candidates for president and three grand justices.
While Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers arrived and gathered early yesterday morning at the Legislative Yuan to vote, their KMT counterparts assembled in the same place to shout slogans and wave banners saying that Hsu Tzong-li’s (許宗力) nomination as Judicial Yuan president was “unconstitutional” and accusing other grand justice nominees of “destroying the Constitution.”
The legislature voted to confirm the nominees for president and vice president yesterday morning, and those for the five grand justices in the afternoon.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
The KMT caucus abstained on the vote for Judicial Yuan president and held a press conference outside the legislative chamber in the morning, accusing President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration of moving to centralize authority not only by holding High-level Policy Coordination Meetings that dominate the Executive Yuan, but also by trying to control the Judicial Yuan.
KMT caucus convener Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) said Tsai’s nominations for grand justices are aimed at “creating a new constitution,” given the grand justices’ power to interpret the Constitution.
“During the legislative review, Hsu Tzong-li, [human rights lawyer] Remington Huang (黃瑞明), [National ChiaYi University professor] Hsu Chih-hsiung (許志雄) and [National Taiwan University law professor] Hwang Jau-yuan (黃昭元) mocked and disavowed the Constitution,” he said.
They displayed a “contemptuous and frivolous attitude” when responding to lawmakers’ questions and “were condescending, because they were sure that as Tsai’s nominees, they would definitely be approved,” he said.
Upon receipt of a pink ballot for the Judicial Yuan presidential nominee, KMT Legislator Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) scribbled “abstain” on the ballot, crumpled it and left the legislative chamber with it.
“The DPP lawmakers said they would sue me for destroying the ballot, but what does it matter if I destroyed the ballot when the grand justice nominees could destroy the Constitution?” he asked as he showed his ballot to reporters.
The KMT caucus opposed Hsu Tzong-li’s nomination, because they consider his reappointment to grand justice — as he is to serve ex officio on the Council of Grand Justices as Judicial Yuan president — after a five-year gap to be a contravention of the constitutional stipulation that a grand justice cannot serve consecutive terms.
KMT lawmakers also lambasted his description of Taiwan-China ties as a “special state-to-state relationship.”
Hsu Tzong-li, Remington Huang, Hsu Chih-hsiung and Huang Chao-yuan all deftly, in one way or another, evaded or refused to sing the Republic of China (ROC) anthem at the KMT lawmakers’ request during the confirmation hearings, with Hsu Chih-hsiung claiming that singing it would go “against his conscience.”
The People First Party caucus, consisting of three legislators, said before the vote that they would vote against Hsu Tzong-li and Huang Chao-yuan, because they refused to acknowledge the name ROC and its constitution, and against Remington Huang for failing to recuse himself despite being the spouse of a lawmaker.
With the DPP caucus’ majority, Hsu Tzong-li’s nomination was approved by the 113-seat legislature by a vote of 72 to 3, while Tsai Chung-tun’s (蔡炯燉) nomination as vice president passed 83-2.
As for the five grand justice nominees, Hsu Chih-hsiung passed by a vote of 72 to 32 with 1 invalid vote, Judicial Yuan Deputy Secretary-General Chang Chiung-wen (張瓊文) was elected 94-9 (2 invalid votes), Remington Huang 74-31, National Taiwan University law professor Chan San-lin (詹森林) 92-12 (1 invalid vote) and Huang Chao-yuan 72-33.
Additional Reporting by Cheng Hung-ta
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
CAUTION: Taiwan had zero cases of death from food poisoning for six years until last year, when two people died after eating wildlife, an FDA official said The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday urged the public not to eat wildlife or unidentified wild plants, as they could be fatal, with nearly 7,000 people affected by food poisoning last year, including two deaths due to wildlife consumption. The number of food poisoning incidents increased by nearly 50 percent last year, from 398 cases involving 4,616 people in the previous year to 503 cases involving 6,944 people, FDA data showed. That figure was the second-highest in history, the FDA said, adding that the highest number was recorded in 1997, with 7,235 people. Among the 503 cases, 87 were food poisoning clusters