Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) should apologize and step down over his role in a “well-calculated political plot” to remove Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) from his position, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus said yesterday.
If Jiang did not apologize to the Legislative Yuan for his role in the political fracas and the Special Investigation Division’s wiretaps on the legislature’s main line, the DPP would continue to boycott Jiang’s report to the legislature, DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) told a press conference.
Gao, who is also the party’s director-general, said Jiang’s sixth attempt to deliver a report to the legislature today is likely to fail because the DPP would continue the boycott, which began on the first day of the current session on Sept. 17.
The DPP has no interest in the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) internal power struggle, but it is determined to uphold constitutional integrity, Gao said.
Jiang’s protestations of innocence in the ongoing political storm were questioned by the DPP, which views him more as an accomplice than as an onlooker or a third party.
Jiang was summoned by Ma on the night of Aug. 31 after Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘) briefed the president on Wang’s alleged improper lobbying, submitting transcripts obtained from the wiretaps on DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) while the investigation was ongoing, which meant that Ma, Jiang and Huang could all have violated confidentiality, the DPP said.
Jiang’s presence at a press conference hosted by Ma on Sept. 8, in which Ma accused Wang of improper lobbying, as well as the premier’s comments in an interview the following day that Wang was “no longer suitable” as a speaker were all infringement of the constitutional mechanism and showed contempt of the legislature, Gao said.
According to Huang’s latest testimony in the legislature, he met with Jiang over the Wang case on Sept. 4, four days before the presidential press conference.
“Yet Jiang pretended that he was unaware of the incident at the Sept. 8 press conference and in media interviews. That told us that it was all planned out,” Gao said.
DPP Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) added that Jiang also demanded then-minister of justice Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫), who was also accused of being involved in the improper lobbying case, to resign at consecutive meetings on Sept. 6, the same day Huang made the accusation public in a press conference.
“It seems to me that Jiang has been playing an important role in the well-planned plot,” Wu said.
“The DPP’s position is clear — we have to protect the Constitution. Infringement of the separation of powers and illegal, political wiretapping should not be tolerated. Jiang must go,” Wu said.
However, former DPP legislator Julian Kuo (郭正亮) called on the party caucus to end the boycott, saying that more boycotts could spark a backlash against the party because the public prefers legislative proceedings to stay out of the political turmoil.