Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday denied an opposition allegation that he “restrained” the constitutional authority of the legislature to vote on a no-confidence motion against Premier Sean Chen (陳冲).
The allegation was not true, Wang said, adding that the opposition “could have just as well initiated another extra session” for a vote on the motion to be held.
The legislature is holding a three-day extra session that began on Wednesday to deal with issues left unresolved in the first session of the Eighth Legislature, which ended on June 15.
“Had they proposed holding another extra session yesterday [Wednesday] or today [Thursday], I would have proceeded to the next step,” Wang said.
The Democratic Progressive Party, the Taiwan Solidarity Union and the People First Party on Wednesday jointly submitted a motion of no-confidence against Chen over the poor performance of the Cabinet in its handling of policy.
Citing Article 3 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, the opposition condemned Wang for his decision not to put the motion to a vote during the extra session.
Wang said the decision was made at a two-hour long cross-party negotiation after the motion was tabled, “rather than of my own accord.”
The decision was in line with Article 6 of the Organic Act of the Legislative Yuan (立法院組織法) that only items which lawmakers agree to deal with in an extra session can be placed on the agenda for the session, Wang said.
“Before the motion was proposed, the agenda had been set [on Tuesday],” he said.
The opposition parties said the principle of constitutional precedence should be applied to the case because a motion of no-confidence against a premier is an issue at the constitutional level. They said they would seek an interpretation from the Council of Grand Justices.