The no-confidence motion initiated by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union against the Cabinet is the right thing to do not only because the latter has been incompetent and is involved in an ongoing political dispute, but also because the Legislative Yuan no longer represents mainstream public opinion, academics told a press conference yesterday.
Several professors from the Taiwan Association of University Professors (TAUP) called on the public and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators to support the motion, which is to be put to a vote tomorrow and which the professors said is “more of a constitutional issue than a competition between political parties.”
Citing the latest public opinion poll conducted by Taiwan Indicators Survey Research, which showed that Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) approval rating was a dismal 15.8 percent, TAUP President Lu Chung-chin (呂忠津) said that Jiang “has lost the public’s trust and is unqualified for the post.”
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
The premier has played a major role in the current political turmoil — initiated by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) through his attempt to remove Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) — and under him, the Cabinet has not only abused policing powers and human rights, but also signed the cross-strait service trade agreement without consulting the public, the association said.
As it would be difficult to impeach or recall the highly unpopular Ma under the current constitutional mechanisms, the only way to hold the president accountable for his actions is to force the premier — a de facto executive director under Ma in Taiwan’s semi-presidential system — to step down, National Chengchi University law professor Lin Chia-ho (林佳和) said.
Yet Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌), a research fellow at Academia Sinica, said the opposition and the public should “forget about whether they will actually meet the high threshold” and also pursue the impeachment and recall options to hold Ma accountable for his performance.
The dissolution of the Legislative Yuan is more important than reshuffling the Cabinet, since the current legislature — in particular, the KMT lawmakers — has failed to represent the public, Huang said.
Asked what Taiwanese could do if all three constitutional options fail, Huang said that if Ma is still able to wield the legislative majority through his position as KMT chairman after next year’s by-elections, “then we cannot do anything about it. After all, this is what democracy is all about.”
“However, in the event that this happens, civil society should step in and take charge of the situation,” Huang said, adding that the public could demand amending the Referendum Act (公民投票法) and the Civil Servants Election And Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法) so that voters could take matters in their own hands.
National Taipei University assistant professor Chen Yao-hsiang (陳耀祥) warned the Ma administration about the consequences if the constitutional measures to bring down the government do not succeed.
“When people no longer perceive the government as legitimate, [and the constitutional mechanisms fail] they could exercise their right to resist and initiate a civil disobedience movement. That would be too much for Ma to handle in the remainder of his term,” Chen said.
KAOHSIUNG VOTE: A city official allegedly wrote a message calling on supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu not to participate in the vote next month Prosecutors on Wednesday initiated an investigation of Kaohsiung Civil Affairs Bureau Director-General Tsao Huan-jung (曹桓榮) for allegedly telling supporters of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) to interfere with a recall vote against Han, while pan-green politicians denounced the mayor and his team for devising ways to obstruct voting. After receiving complaints from residents, the Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office launched its probe of Tsao for alleged breaches of the Civil Servants Election and Recall Act (公職人員選舉罷免法). Complainants provided evidence that Tsao on Saturday last week wrote on messaging app Line that Han supporters should not vote in the June 6 recall vote, saying:
The Taipei Grand Mosque yesterday said its earlier decision to cancel Eid al-Fitr celebrations on Sunday to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would stand, even though there have been no new domestic cases of COVID-19 in more than a month. It will be the first time in 60 years that the event has not be held at the mosque. The Ministry of Labor had asked all mosques to suspend Eid al-Fitr celebrations and prayers this year, due to COVID-19 concerns, and encouraged Muslims to pray at home. This year Ramadan began on April 23 and is to
BILINGUAL ASSISTANCE: The center launched a chat bot that features Chinese and English interfaces to provide foreigners with instant information about the pandemic The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that it would discuss with other nations the possibility of allowing businesspeople to visit on a case-by-case basis. Asked about loosening border restrictions, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said at the daily CECC news briefing that while the center is cautious about opening the nation’s borders, it would aim to diminish obstacles for important trade interactions without risking transmission of the novel coronavirus. Several foreign representatives in Taiwan have expressed an interest in the matter and the center would conduct related negotiations with the help of the
DELUSIONAL: The male patient said he did not know that the woman had mental problems, but the court said that her being restrained in isolation should have given him pause The Taiwan High Court has ordered the Jhudong branch of the Taiwan National University Hospital and a male patient to jointly pay a former female patient’s family NT$400,000 in compensation after the man had sex with the woman, who has mental problems, while hospitalized. The 26-year-old woman has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, a symptom of which is that she obsessively seeks to have sex, her mother said. The mother filed a formal complaint and sought damages from the hospital and the male patient surnamed Chen (陳) after finding out that her daughter had sex with the man while