Sat, Nov 13, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Control Yuan picks will be fair, says Lu

SELECTION The vice president said that the panel which chooses potential Control Yuan members will be impartial

CNA , TAIPEI

Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) said yesterday she will see to it that the new ombudsmen recommendation panel abides by the principles of openness, impartiality and fairness in recommending candidates for the Control Yuan seats.

Lu, who concurrently serves as convener of the new ombudsmen recommendation panel, made the remarks during a luncheon with incumbent Control Yuan members. Also present were other members of the recommendation panel.

The tenure of the current third-term Control Yuan members will expire Jan. 31, 2005. President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is expected to nominate 29 fourth-term Control Yuan members later this year.

According to the present version of the Additional Articles of the Constitution (憲法增修條文), nominations for the Control Yuan require the consent of the Legislative Yuan.

In addition to appointing Lu as convener of the new ombudsmen recommendation panel, Chen also named five panelists to screen the qualifications of hopefuls recommended by various social or academic groups and come up with a list of qualified aspirants.

Noting that times have changed and that the political vision and ideology of the Democratic Progressive Party administration differs from the previous Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration, Lu said the recommendation panel will take into account "timing factors" in qualification screening.

Equally important is constitutional provisions, Lu said, adding that the screening panel will faithfully respect the Constitution in screening and recommending qualified candidates.

"We'll make every possible effort to ensure openness, transparency, impartiality and fairness in the procedure, " Lu said, adding that the panel's ultimate goal is to recommend those most qualified and suitable to serve in the Control Yuan, the nation's supreme watchdog body.

Lu further said she hopes the luncheon will provide a forum for her panelists to exchange views with incumbent Control Yuan members and thus gain a better understanding of the watchdog body's functions and its operating rules.

"As ombudsmen are responsible for correcting government officials at all levels and generally monitoring the government, they are often involved in investigating scandals and graft cases. I think all incumbent members are fully aware of the social changes, national evolution and personal traits needed to be a competent and outstanding ombudsman, " Lu said, adding that she welcomes the advice and opinions of the incumbent ombudsmen for the panel's reference.

As to how many incumbents will be recommended for another term, Lu said the panel has yet to consider this issue.

During the KMT era, a certain percentage of incumbents were retained for a second six-year term. The incumbent ombudsmen took office Feb. 1, 1999 when the KMT was still in power.

With the DPP winning the presidency in 2000 and again in 2004, Lu said, the nation has entered a new era. "We could use a broader perspective in mulling the issue," she added.

Members of the panel include incumbent Control Yuan President Fredrick Chien (錢復) and Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), as well as Clement Chang (張建邦), a senior adviser to the president, Michael Hsiao (蕭新煌), a national policy adviser to the president, and Nita Ing (殷琪), chairwoman of Taiwan High-Speed Railway, who is also an adviser to the president. Chien has made clear that he will retire from public service after his current tenure expires.

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