Pan-blue and pan-green legislators yesterday split over the decision of the nine remaining members of the National Communications Commission (NCC) to stay in office until January 2008 despite a ruling that said their nomination was unconstitutional.
The Council of Grand Justices ruled last Friday that Article Four of the Organic Law of the National Communications Commission (
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and People First Party (PFP) legislators praised the commissioners' decision to stay in their posts.
"We admire the NCC members as they have chosen to endure disgrace and insults to accomplish their task and meet their responsibilities," said Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), executive director of the KMT's policy coordination department.
Despite calls from pan-green legislators for NCC members to resign, business representatives from the telecommunications and network industries last Saturday urged them to stay put, citing the industry's development.
Tseng said that the party fully supported the decision of the commission members.
If the members resigned, this would have a negative influence on the development of an industry valued at more than NT$1 trillion (US$30.45 billion) a year, Tseng said.
"If the government heeds the suggestion [of pan-green legislators] and stops allocating a budget for the NCC, we will boycott the review of the government budget," he said.
Meanwhile, KMT legislative caucus whip Pan Wei-kang (
The GIO was formerly charged with regulating the communications industry.
PFP legislative caucus whip Lu Hsueh-chang (
"I don't see a problem with the nomination of NCC members. What matters is whether they can exert their authority without partisanship, not their political identities," Lu said.
Democratic Progressive Party legislative caucus whip Yeh Yi-ching (葉宜津), who demanded that commission members resign last week, said yesterday that the agency should be transformed into a caretaker commission, given that some of its members have refused to quit.
"NCC members should refrain from making decisions related to issues of major importance," Yeh said.
"Given that the nomination of NCC members has been ruled unconstitutional, the policies the current NCC members make will lack legitimacy," she added.
Yeh said that the party would propose an amendment in the next legislative session, which starts on Sept. 19, to revise the unconstitutional article.
This would allow the commission to resume normal operations as soon as possible, Yeh said.
Meanwhile, Minister without Portfolio Hsu Chih-hsiung (許志雄), who is in charge of issues involving the NCC, yesterday said that he would respect the decision of some NCC members not to resign, but also outlined a few regulations for the commission to follow.
"The grand justices have clearly pointed out that the NCC should be a government body under the Cabinet. It is natural that the NCC should follow the Cabinet's policies," Hsu said.