The Legislative Yuan yesterday approved the nomination of Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘), President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) nominee, for top prosecutor-general, despite opposition from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
The 109 legislators present during yesterday’s plenary session voted 75 to 32 in favor of supporting the nomination.
By law, Huang only needed to secure the support of more than half of the 113-seat legislature, or 57 lawmakers, to become state prosecutor-general.
PHOTO: GEORGE TSORNG, TAIPEI TIMES
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus had previously resolved to throw its support behind Huang, while the DPP thought otherwise, questioning Huang’s impartiality.
The DPP caucus, which holds 33 seats, cast the negative votes in the secret ballot. DPP Legislator Lin Su-fen (林淑芬) did not attend the session because she was stuck in traffic.
Two pan-blue legislators — the KMT or the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union — cast invalid votes in spite of the KMT caucus’ resolution to help the nomination clear the legislative floor.
“Almost all of the [pan-blue] legislators voted for him, which showed the Legislative Yuan’s recognition of him,” KMT caucus whip Lin Yi-shih (林益世) told reporters after the vote.
Speaking in the legislature minutes before the vote, DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yee (李俊毅) said that while DPP lawmakers recognized that they would not be able to halt the appointment, they wanted to let Huang know that he did not have the support of the entire legislature.
Lee said the DPP caucus was opposed to Huang because of his “inability to remain impartial during key cases,” saying the state prosecutor general was more focused on “investigating pan-green cases than looking up pan-blue ones.”
The DPP caucus later requested that all party lawmakers vote against the appointment despite earlier reports about a free vote.
Following his approval, Huang vowed to clear the nation’s serious cases within two years.
Denying accusations that he and the prosecutorial system only probe DPP politicians, Huang said in the legislature: “My career as a prosecutor shows that I only have evidence and the law in mind, regardless of anyone’s political hue.”
Huang vowed to clear serious cases left by the former chief prosecutor Chen Tsung-ming (陳聰明).
Huang, who will now step down as deputy minister of justice, was nominated after Chen resigned following his impeachment by the Control Yuan in January.
Meanwhile, all 14 members of the SIP said yesterday they would offer their resignations soon to allow the new top prosecutor to choose his preferred team of prosecutors.
Huang said he was preparing to interview each prosecutor this week to learn about their cases before he announces his new SIP team.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY VINCENT Y. CHAO
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