A total of 19 Control Yuan members yesterday issued a joint statement of condemnation against Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien over his remarks that the government watchdog might as well shut down because it was not able to perform its purpose of serving justice.
“As the president of the Control Yuan, [Wang] made comments dishonoring the authority of the Control Yuan specified in the Constitution, which was unbelievable,” the Control Yuan members said in the statement.
Wang, known for his outspokenness, said on Wednesday that he was upset after the Control Yuan turned down a second attempt on Tuesday to impeach Keelung Mayor Chang Tong-rong (張通榮), who has been convicted of influence peddling and interfering with police matters.
The Control Yuan has been failing at its duties for a long time, Wang said, adding that Control Yuan positions were often used as bargaining chips or rewards for political favors.
The Control Yuan has 29 members, including Wang and Vice President Chen Jinn-lih (陳進利).
The 19 Control Yuan members said it was very surprising that Wang deliberately contravened Article 12 of the Control Yuan Act (監察法), which stipulates that the president of the Control Yuan must not interfere with cases being dealt with by Control Yuan members.
Comments made by Wang that they were nominated as Control Yuan members in return for political favors were unfounded and baseless, the statement said.
In the case of Chang, the Control Yuan members said the Control Yuan failed to pass the impeachment motion because most of the Control Yuan members participating in a review of the case were of the opinion that the case was connected with defective democracy and local politics.
The way Chang handled the incident was disgusting, but did not constitute a reason for impeachment, the Control Yuan members said.
The decision not to impeach Chang was not an arbitrary decision, but reflected how most of the Control Yuan members involved thought about the case, they said.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who is current on a five-country tour of Taiwan’s allies, disagreed with Wang’s comment that Control Yuan positions are bargaining chips or rewards for political favors.
“I’m afraid there is a great misunderstanding,” Ma said. “We don’t need to use governmental positions to bargain for or reward anything.”
However, Wang remained unconvinced and said in an interview with a radio station in Taipei yesterday that the situation was actually slightly better during his term because most of the current Control Yuan members were nominated by Ma when he was at the peak of his influence.
Wang said he feared the situation would worsen next year as Ma will have very little influence, both because he is nearing the end of his time in office and because of his plunging approval ratings, so he will have to appease many people in the seven-in-one elections coming up next year.