Fri, Aug 17, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Pan-blues slam council's ruling

`NO RIGHT' KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yih said the Judicial Yuan did not have the authority to demand that the legislature review nominations for the Control Yuan

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Pan-blue lawmakers, who have been boycotting a review of President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) nominations for the Control Yuan, yesterday rejected a Council of Grand Justices ruling on the issue.

The council on Wednesday issued a constitutional interpretation, saying that it is unconstitutional for the legislature to decline to review the nominees.

The Control Yuan has been idle since January 2005, when the terms of its last members expired. The pan-blue-controlled Procedure Committee has prevented the review from being put onto the legislative agenda since it was sent to the legislature on Dec. 20, 2004.

Chen launched a new nomination process on Dec. 25 last year, sending a letter to each political party calling for nominations within a week and promising to draw up a new nominee list for review by the legislature.

The move did not end the deadlock, as neither the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) nor the People First Party (PFP) replied to Chen's letter, although the KMT drew up a list of candidates in March.

Chen did not specify in his letter how many candidates each party should nominate, but it is possible that the 27 nominees were to be allocated based on each party's number of legislative seats.

KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday blamed the president for the idle Control Yuan.

"We have not refused to review the list. The problem is that the president carried out the nomination process too hastily," Wu said.

PFP Legislator Daniel Hwang (黃義交) agreed with Wu: "The president has not sent us an official request for nominations to the Control Yuan."

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said he had told KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) a few days ago that the boycott was perhaps unconstitutional.

Wu Den-yih, however, said the party would not retreat in the face of the constitutional interpretation.

"Whether or not [the legislature] reviews the Control Yuan nominations falls under the authority of the legislature. The Judicial Yuan has no right to tell the legislature what to do," he said.

KMT caucus whip Tseng Yuan-chuan (曾永權) said that the right to nominate new members for the Control Yuan should be left to the president elected next March, while the review should be undertaken by the legislature elected in January.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Wang Tuoh (王拓) yesterday called on KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to show his "leadership" by telling his party to review the nomination list.

Wang Tuoh said that Ma had repeatedly argued that abiding by the Constitution is more important than creating a new one.

"Ma should act on his own suggestions," Wang Tuoh said.

"[Ma] can't say that he abides by the Constitution on the one hand, but just sit by and watch as the KMT sabotages the Constitution on the other hand," he said.

When approached for comment yesterday, Ma said he expected the legislature to review the list of Control Yuan nominations, adding that all five government branches should function as stipulated in the Constitution.

Ma defended the pan-blue camp, however, saying it had declined to review the list because Chen's nomination process was problematic.

"Everyone should know the cause of the problem and work together to solve the deadlock," Ma said.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Office said yesterday that Chen would draw up a new nomination list if the legislature would agree to review it.

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