Thu, Sep 12, 2013 - Page 3 News List

MA-WANG SHOWDOWN: President accused of using SID as ‘personal tool’

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Civic groups yesterday accused President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of using the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) as his “personal tool” for political persecution and jeopardizing the nation’s constitutional system. They called for the division to be abolished.

While influence peddling by politicians deserved condemnation, Ma’s open attack on Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who was allegedly involved in lobbying the judiciary, is a more serious concern, the representatives of various groups said yesterday.

Lawyer Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) said Taiwan should learn from the experience of South Korea, Germany and the US, which have all abolished agencies similar to the SID.

By commenting on Wang’s alleged lobbying and demanding that he be removed, Ma breached his responsibility under the Constitution, Taiwan Democracy Watch spokesperson Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told a press conference.

Ma, who is chairman of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), and Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), another KMT member, had both prioritized party politics and ignored the constitutional order with their public comments about removing Wang from the legislative speakership, Hsu said.

“Judicial lobbying is intolerable, but due process is necessary in holding lobbyists accountable,” Hsu said.

“We believe the president, premier and prosecutor-general [Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘)] have all damaged the nation’s constitutional order through excessive wiretapping and surveillance as well as by violating the separation of powers. This [situation] is not acceptable,” Hsu said.

At a separate press conference in Taipei, representatives from pro-independence groups said Ma’s insistence on removing Wang was suspicious because the president could have his eyes set on more ambitious goals.

For Ma, Wang had to go because as speaker he had failed to get the cross-strait service trade agreement through the legislature, Taiwan Society president Chang Yen-hsien (張炎憲) said.

“With a new speaker, it would be easier for Ma to pass the agreements on trade in goods, culture and the top prize — a peace agreement — in the future,” Chang said.

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