Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) appeared optimistic yesterday about today’s no-confidence motion against him in the legislature, saying that at least after the vote his Cabinet will have one year free of political disturbance to deal with the major issues facing the country.
If the motion — sponsored by the Democratic Progressive Party and the Taiwan Solidarity Union and supported by the People First Party — is voted down, the Cabinet effectively wins “a vote of confidence,” Jiang told a press conference in Taipei.
“After the vote, I will unveil the next phase of our policy platform. We will not fall short of public’s expectations,” he said.
Jiang was flanked by all 38 Cabinet members as he delivered a statement titled: “The future of Taiwan cannot afford to wait.”
The seven reasons given for initiating the motion, starting with the premier has “jeopardized constitutional order and political stability,” were “unacceptable,” Jiang said.
He said he was neither involved in the alleged undue influence over a judicial case that evolved into the ongoing political turmoil, nor he was behind what the opposition has called a plot against Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and the resulting political strife.
He again blamed the media for “misquoting” him in various reports that cited him saying Wang was no longer qualified to be speaker because his alleged improper lobbying had placed his integrity in doubt and that the Executive Yuan was ready to face a legislature without Wang as speaker.
Jiang’s six attempts to present his policy address to the legislature have been foiled by opposition lawmakers since the new session opened on Sept. 17.
The opposition’s efforts have blocked him from fulfilling his constitutional duty, Jiang said.
The opposition lawmakers had “abrogated their constitutional rights to question the premier in the legislature’s question-and-answer sessions” by blocking his speech, he said.
“It is plain to see whether it is the Cabinet [or the opposition parties] that deserve the blame for jeopardizing constitutional order and political stability,” he said.
Jiang vowed that the Executive Yuan would work with the Judicial Yuan to overhaul the wiretapping system to eliminate abuse and illegal telephone surveillance practices.
Saying that he was “more concerned about the future of the nation than whether the no-confidence motion would succeed,” Jiang called on the opposition parties to stop their boycott against his policy address because “[that] has hampered the progress of the country.”
The Executive Yuan hopes that the legislature votes down today’s motion so his team can have at least one year to work to its full potential, he said.
Jiang said the constitutional article that bars a no-confidence motion against the same premier within one year of a no-confidence motion failing means that his legitimacy would be assured by the failure of the motion against him.
Jiang said the four major challenges facing the country are the slow pace of progress in engaging with other countries and regions economically through trade pacts, the ever-widening gap between urban and rural development, the need to devise a long-term care system to cope with the aging population, and how to help young people realize their dreams and ideals.
Jiang and some Cabinet ministers spent the weekend telephoning all the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers to urge them to vote against the no-confidence motion.
The KMT holds 65 seats in the 112-seat legislature, including the speaker. Fifty-seven votes in favor of the no-confidence motion are needed for it to pass.