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
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