Thu, Sep 08, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Wang calls for new probe into assassination attempt

CNA , TAIPEI

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday that a new "319 truth commission" to look into the shooting of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) on the eve of last year's presidential election should be set up during the current legislative session.

Wang, a former vice chairman of the opposition Chinese NAtionalist Party (KMT), made the remarks in an interview with the Central News Agency in which he said the idea was the consensus reached between him and KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) the previous day.

Wang said that Chen has said publicly that he is not opposed to the formation of a "319 truth commission," and that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus also said in the previous legislative session that it is not against the idea.

The issue of the formation of a "319 truth commission" is bound to be broached by lawmakers across the party spectrum, Wang said, adding that it will be difficult for the DPP to obstruct or block it.

He said that a revision of the previous "319 truth commission" statute is necessary, although the revision will be a very technical issue, and the revision and the formation of a new commission can be conducted simultaneously.

Meanwhile, Wang said yesterday that the legislature should be given the power to exercise the "right of consent" on the president's nomination of the premier, a power that was taken away when the Constitution was amended during former president Lee Teng-hui's (李登輝) tenure.

In an exclusive interview with CNA, Wang claimed he was making the call because "many people expect it" and claimed that only when the legislature is given such power can it effectively check and balance the Executive Yuan.

His remarks were prompted by Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) challenging the opposition parties, which refused to pass his NT$80 billion special budget bill for flood control, to topple his Cabinet with a motion of no confidence.

He said that the Constitution stipulates that the premier is appointed by the president and that when the appointment has been made, the Constitution does not have clear provisions about when to replace or dismiss a premier.

Under the current Constitution, the president can do nothing if he wants to fire the premier but the premier refuses to step down, Wang said.

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