Opposition parties yesterday protested against the rejection by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) of a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet, saying the decision was unconstitutional and that they would demand a constitutional interpretation.
The opposition submitted the proposal to begin the three-day extra session yesterday morning, with Wang immediately suspending the proceedings to convene a two-and-a-half-hour party negotiation.
Wang rejected the proposal and said that it violated the Organic Act of the Legislative Yuan (立法院組織法), which stipulates that the legislative agenda in an extra session should be in line with the reasons it was convened.
“The no-confidence motion was not included in the legislative agenda. It will not be discussed in the extra session,” Wang said.
The legislative caucuses of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), the People First Party (PFP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) called a press conference immediately after Wang’s announcement, saying that the decision was unconstitutional and demanding that Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) step down immediately.
The DPP will demand a constitutional interpretation next week, DPP caucus convener Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said.
“The no-confidence motion is a constitutional issue, which is different from other bills and should not be seen as a legislative agenda item. The PFP supported the demand of a constitutional interpretation,” PFP party whip Thomas Lee (李桐豪) said.
The TSU also said the decision was unconstitutional, with party whip Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) saying that there was no law prohibiting the proposal of a no-confidence motion in an extra session.
Wang’s decision was a “deliberate distortion” of the Additional Articles of the Constitution, which stipulate that 72 hours after a no-confidence motion is made, an open-ballot vote must be taken within 48 hours, DPP Legislator Pan Men-an (潘孟安) said, adding that the party would “definitely demand a constitutional interpretation from the Justices of the Constitutional Court.”
Pan said Wang, a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) member, had failed to maintain neutrality in handling the proposal.
The Act Governing the Exercise of the Rights of the Legislative Yuan (立法院職權行使法) stipulates the legislature may propose a no-confidence vote against the premier after collecting the signatures of more than one-third of the total number of legislators. The motion is deemed passed if at least half the lawmakers vote for it.
KMT caucus whip Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) said both the extra session and the no-confidence motion were constitutional issues, but the proposal was a violation of the Organic Act of the Legislative Yuan and would not be dealt with in the session.