Sat, Oct 05, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Ma-Wang Showdown: Premier discusses impasse with Wang

FIRM STANCE:The DPP said it would not back down from its stance that Jiang must offer an apology before he can deliver his address to the legislature

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party legislators hold up signs in protest against Premier Jiang Yi-huah, drinking water, back center, in the legislature yesterday. Jiang tried yesterday to deliver a policy address, but was blocked by Democratic Progressive Party legislators. Jiang failed to deliver his speech.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday said he took the initiative to talk to Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) about the month-long political impasse stemming from the allegations against Wang over his alleged involvement in an undue influence case.

Jiang said the accusations made by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) against him alleging that he overstepped his executive parameters and infringed on the legislature’s rights were not true because they were based on incorrect media reports.

“I hope Speaker Wang understands and will disregard those allegations,” Jiang said after his meeting with Wang.

Vice Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池), and Executive Yuan Secretary-General Chen Wei-jen (陳威仁) were also present at the meeting.

It was the first time Jiang spoke with Wang since the Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office accused Wang of improper lobbying on behalf of DPP legislative caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) on Sept. 6.

The case, termed by the DPP “political vendetta” aiming to deprive Wang of speakership, has evolved into a political storm as President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Jiang, Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) and former Presidential Office deputy secretary-general Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) are being investigated for alleged misconduct in pursuing the case.

Jiang has faced a boycott from the opposition of his policy report to the legislature, originally scheduled on Sept. 17 when the current legislative session began, after he rejected the request from the opposition to apologize for his actions during the political turmoil.

Yesterday was the fifth time Jiang’s attempt to take the podium failed.

Huang said that the meeting between Jiang and Wang lasted about 20 minutes.

“Jiang sincerely thanked Wang for putting effort into breaking the impasse,” Hung said.

Lin said that Wang proposed that the question-and-answer session where Jiang is to deliver his policy report to the legislature and take questions from lawmakers be pushed back by one month so the situation might cool down.

Jiang agreed to consider the option, Lin said, but he added that the KMT has reservations about the idea.

“The question-and-answer session could be delayed indefinitely if the opposition continues to boycott it,” Lin said.

Ker said yesterday that the DPP would not back down from its stance that Jiang must first offer an apology, including for the SID conducting a wiretap on one of the switchboards at the legislature, before he can take the podium.

Earlier yesterday, several DPP lawmakers, who spoke on the legislative floor during the National Affairs Forum, lashed out at Jiang using strong language.

DPP Legislator Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國) called Jiang a “hypocrite.”

Jiang said in an interview with a radio station on Monday that he did not learn of the SID’s findings of Wang’s case until Huang asked to meet with him on Sept. 4.

However, Jiang was contradicted by Ma who told another radio station on Wednesday that he called a meeting involving Jiang and Lo right after Huang briefed him of the case on Aug. 31.

“You were once a liberal academic. How come you become such a hypocrite? You have lied to the people and won’t even apologize. I have no respect for you,” Liu said.

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