While the second recall motion against President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) is to be put to a vote in the legislature today, the People First Party (PFP) and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) have already announced their next moves to force the president to step down.
PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) said yesterday that his party would initiate a motion to topple Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) at the end of this month.
"We just need one more lawmaker's signature to propose a no-confidence vote [against Su] in the legislature. If Prosecutor Eric Chen's (陳瑞仁) investigation into the special presidential allowance fund scandal is not satisfactory by the end of this month, we will bring up the [anti-Su] motion for a vote," Soong said as he attended the legislature's review of the second presidential recall motion.
The PFP chairman had been invited to attend the session by the Legislative Yuan in his capacity as "a person of significant social standing."
The KMT, however, appeared to have some reservations about the PFP's plan to go after the Cabinet.
KMT caucus whip Tsai Chin-lung (蔡錦隆) said that his party would wait for the right moment to go into action, referring to Eric Chen's investigation.
"Filing a third recall motion is just a matter of time," Tsai said.
The second presidential recall motion is likely to fail, just as the first one did in June, because the pan-blue camp does not have the two-thirds majority -- 147 votes -- needed to pass the proposal.
Anticipating the motion's failure, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said yesterday that his party would not be mobilizing its supporters to protest against the vote outside the legislature today.
He said DPP lawmakers would also boycott the vote.
"We will not cast our ballots because we don't want to dance to their tune. It seems to us that the second recall motion is just a farce," Ker said.
DPP lawmakers boycotted the presidential recall vote on June 27, but tens of thousands of DPP faithful gathered outside the Legislative Yuan during the vote to show their support for Chen.
The DPP has adopted a "three-no" strategy in preparation for today's vote -- the president will not defend himself; party lawmakers will not attend the screening session and they will not vote.
Ker advised pan-blue lawmakers not to waste their time and energy trying to muster another motion against the president.
"Don't ever think of launching a third or fourth motion to recall the president. You would just be incurring insult to injury. People simply won't stand for it any longer," Ker said.
On the pan-blue side, the KMT's 90 lawmakers and their 22 PFP colleagues have been asked by their parties to vote for the second recall motion. The KMT and PFP caucus whips said that absentees from today's vote would be punished in accordance with their party's rules.
Meanwhile, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) caucus whip Liao Pen-yen (廖本煙) said his party would cast invalid ballots, just as they did the first time around.
The Non-Partisan Solidarity Union remained non-committal yesterday, saying that it would make a final decision this morning.
According to the Constitution, a presidential recall motion, if passed by the legislature, authorizes a national referendum. If more than half of the electorate casts ballots in the referendum and a simple majority of the ballots cast are in support of the motion, then the recall motion becomes effective.