Tue, Jun 13, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Analysts say opposition's recall motion doomed to fail

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Despite the opposition-dominated legislature's success yesterday in placing the recall motion on the agenda of the extraordinary session, the ruling party will benefit in the long run, analysts said.

Observers contended that the recall motion was doomed to fail because of high legal threshold required to pass.

A recall motion requires approval from two-thirds of the legislature and a majority of eligible voters in a nationwide referendum to take effect.

Unless a sufficient number of pan-blue lawmakers are willing to jump the fence, analysts speculated that the odds of passing the recall motion are infinitesimal.

"It is like when two brothers are having an argument, and an outsider breaks in. Instead of continuing to fight with each other, they will team up to fight the intruder," said Kuo Cheng-deng (郭正典), a board member of Taiwan Heart.

"The more the pan-blue camp pushes the Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) administration into a corner, the more pan-green supporters will unify and fight back," Kuo said.

Lii Ding-tzann (李丁讚), a sociology professor at the National Tsing Hua University, echoed Kuo's view.

"It is not a smart move for the pan-blue camp to initiate the recall campaign because it compels the DPP [Democratic Progressive Party] and its supporters to defend Chen," he said.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had first rejected the idea of a recall motion, claiming that no evidence had proved that Chen was involved in the spate of corruption scandals plaguing his administration.

Ma, however, later bowed to internal and external pressure and agreed to endorse the recall campaign trumpeted by the KMT's ally, the People First Party (PFP).

Ma was questioned by his supporters in the KMT for being too weak. On the outside, Ma was forced to respond to PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜), who is desperately seeking to revive his political career.

"Ma should have known that Soong would grab this golden opportunity to rescue his fading political career by taking drastic moves," Lii said. "A good political leader must not be swayed or even led by such a calculating politician."

Fearing that he might be outshone by Soong, Ma was forced to show his "ferocious side" so party supporters would not think he was too soft.

"He is bound to pay a price for the decision he made under pressure," said Lin Wen-cheng (林文程), a political professor at the National Sun Yat-sen University.

If the recall motion passes the legislature, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) would take over the presidency in line with the Constitution and appoint a new premier.

For the sake of political stability and to increase her odds in the next presidential bid, Lin said that Lu must try to obtain the support of the legislature.

It would be a good idea to designate Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) as the new premier, Lin said, taking into account his political influence.

Kuo, however, cast doubt on such a combination, saying that Wang would run into the same problem as former premier Tang Fei (唐飛) did.

Tang was the only pan-blue official in the line-up and the shortest-serving premier in the nation's history, spending only 137 days in office.

Opponents criticized that such a government would create more political problems and even constitutional disputes than it would resolve.

Kuo argued that Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) would make a better candidate for premier, although he is widely expected to step down if the president does because he was appointed by Chen.

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