Sun, Nov 02, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Control Yuan fears being dragged into political fray

ULTERIOR MOTIVES Pan-blue lawmakers are using the oversight body for their own political purposes, and some Control Yuan members are not happy with it

By Fiona Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

A Control Yuan member recently spoke of his concern over the body's involvement in the war between the Executive Yuan and the opposition-controlled legislature.

"The independence of the Control Yuan has diminished since the discord between the executive and legislative branches expanded to a third party," the member, who wished to remain anonymous, said.

His fears came to a head on Friday when lawmakers voted 97-79 in favor of the Control Yuan launching an investigation into Cabinet members, including Premier Yu Shyi-kun's spokesman Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) and Directorate General of the Budget, Accounting and Statistics Office Hale Liu (劉三錡), for possible dereliction of duty.

Chinese Nationalist Party whip Lee Chia-chin (李嘉進) said the Control Yuan should fault seven Cabinet officials for their role in the creation of the central government's budget for the next fiscal year.

Lee said that Lin should also be placed under investigation for his improper remarks on his legally questionable position.

Lin and Liu disputed the legislative resolution immediately. Lin accused pan-blue lawmakers of abusing the Control Yuan in a bid to advance their campaign for next March's presidential election.

It seems, however, as if some inside the Control Yuan have had enough.

"The Control Yuan has to supervise civil servants and the administrative execution," the anonymous Control Yuan member said. "But we are not members of the Grand Justice Council, whose job it is to use the constitution to mediate conflict between government branches or controversies related to constitutional government."

The legislative resolution on Friday was not the first time that the Control Yuan has been embroiled in a war between lawmakers and the Cabinet.

Already this year, the legislature requested the Control Yuan to judge former directorate general of the Budget, Accounting and Statistics Lin Chuan's (林全) handling of a government liabilities' repayment of principal in addition to a request for the impeachment of former premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) for allowing the improper use of public funds.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said he disagreed with the pan-blue parties' attempt to expand the political battlefield to the Control Yuan.

"The resolution requesting the Control Yuan's arbitration on the political conflict has debased the Legislative Yuan," he said.

The pan-blues' decision to drag the Control Yuan into the fight rather than solving the dispute through constitutional interpretations or multiparty negotiations was debatable, he added.

DPP lawmakers urged Control Yuan members to be bold and refuse the resolution.

But Control Yuan members often find it difficult to say no to legislative requests.

The legislature took over from the National Assembly in ratifying Control Yuan nominees and their president in 2000.

Lawmakers are also in charge of approving the annual budget of the Control Yuan.

"It is hard to say that all legislators strictly observe the rule of neutrality when it comes to the budgetary examination," a Control Yuan staff member said.

Control Yuan statistics indicate that the body was visited by lawmakers on 167 occasions this year, presenting more than 60 cases against public officials, including members of the Cabinet.

Half of the complaints were forwarded to field investigations, a relatively high ratio compared to the chance of an investigation being initiated by a citizen's petition.

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