Thu, Oct 18, 2007 - Page 3 News List

KMT lambastes Cabinet spokesman's interruption

HEATED EXCHANGE: Caucus whip Kuo Su-chun said Shieh Jhy-wey had violated the Constitution as well as broken the law

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Kuo Su-chun, right, talks to KMT Legislator Diane Lee yesterday after accusing Cabinet Spokesman Shieh Jhy-wey of violating the Constitution and the Law Governing Legislators' Exercise of Power for interrupting a question-and-answer session on Tuesday.

PHOTO: CNA

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus condemned Cabinet Spokesman Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) yesterday after Shieh and KMT Legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) exchanged barbs during the premier's question-and-answer session at the legislature on Tuesday.

At a press conference, KMT caucus whip Kuo Su-chun (郭素春) lashed out at Shieh, accusing him of violating the Constitution and the Law Governing Legislators' Exercise of Power (立法院職權行使法) by interrupting Ting's interpellation of Premier Chang Chun-hsiung (張俊雄) even though Shieh had not been given the floor to speak during the session.

"It is legislators' duty to question the premier about the government's administrative achievements. How-ever, we have seen a very ridiculous scene occur during the interpellation session," she said.

Ting was questioning Chang about what he would do if the nation were faced with a military attack or economic blockade by Beijing.

Shieh approached the podium, shouting: "You are threatening Taiwan for China. How can do you do this?"

Ting shouted back, telling Shieh to stay away from the podium, but Shieh refused.

When Ting asked Legislative Vice Speaker Chung Jung-chi (鍾榮吉) to halt the interpellation period, Shieh shouted: "Time will not stop. It will continue to move on."

Shieh did not leave the podium until he was dismissed by Chung.

Kuo said yesterday that Shieh's behavior had violated Article 3 of the Amendment to the Constitution, which stipulates legislators' rights to interpellate the Cabinet over its administration.

She said Shieh's behavior was also a violation of Article 22 of the Law Governing Legislators' Exercise of Power, which states that a legislator's questions should be answered by the premier or any other government chiefs designated by the legislator.

She called on Chang to publicly promise to discipline his Cabinet members and offer an apology to the public and the legislature by tomorrow.

Shieh, however, was unrepentant yesterday.

"First, I went up to the podium spontaneously, not because of Ting's question, but to give an answer to the public," Shieh said.

He said that Ting, as an elected lawmaker, represents the people who voted for him.

"Second, as a government official, I was obliged to let Ting know that he shouldn't use the tactic that China has been using to threaten the Taiwanese," Shieh said.

He said he should have told Ting that the People's Liberation Army doesn't need to threaten the Taiwanese when it has a lawmaker like him in Taiwan.

"Public opinion will be the judge of whether I should resign over the matter," he said.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan

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