Hundreds of academics yesterday called on Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) to step down for his poor performance as head of the Cabinet and for violating the Constitution.
The academics issued a joint appeal titled “The shamelessness of intellectuals is a national disgrace,” in which they listed the “four mistakes” they said Jiang has committed.
They refused to refer to him as him as the premier in the appeal, calling him “Mr Jiang Yi-huah” because he is “no longer qualified for the title,” they told a press conference in Taipei.
Jiang had neither tried to stop the illegal wiretaps in a “political plot” against President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) rivals — Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) — nor advised Ma against waging an internal battle within the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), the academics said.
They also accused him of speaking in contempt of the legislature — a serious breach of the constitutional spirit of the separation of powers, the statement said, adding that the premier has refused to apologize to the legislature over the comment, leading to the current stalemate between the executive and legislative branches of government.
“While the no-confidence motion is unlikely to pass, it is important to hold responsible individuals accountable for the political strife in September because responsible politics is what democracy is all about,” Nanhua University assistant professor Steve Wang (王思為) told the press conference.
Aside from the news conference organized by Taiwan Forever Association (台灣永社), in which they issued the appeal, the academics also held a separate press conference simultaneously yesterday morning.
Jiang’s claim that a failed no-confidence motion would represent public confidence in the Cabinet was “shameless,” Chung Hua University associate professor Tseng Chien-yuan (曾建元) said at the second event.
Tseng also rebutted a common criticism of the DPP’s proposal, saying that a no-confidence motion would be a responsible countermeasure with the least cost against the executive branch’s unilateral and authoritative policy as well as a good solution to break a political gridlock.
The motion has two implications for the Ma administration, National Dong Hwa University professor Shih Cheng-feng (施正鋒) said.
“First, it sends a warning to Ma and tells him that he is not an emperor and he cannot do whatever he wants. Second, it is a warning to Jiang that he cannot expect to climb up the political ladder with the way he governs now,” Shih said.