With several lawmakers across party lines deeming her an “inappropriate” choice to lead the Control Yuan, Central Election Commission Chairperson Chang Po-ya (張博雅) is the candidate most likely to fail to make it through the confirmation vote for nominees to the Examination and Control yuans set to be held in the extra legislative session.
The legislature has scheduled a review of President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) nominees for members of the Examination and Control yuans in the first two weeks of the three-week-long extra session that began on Friday.
Confirmation by the legislature requires a candidate to garner votes from more than half of the 112-seat legislative body and if Chang succeeds in doing this, the 72-year-old would become the first female Control Yuan president in the country’s history.
However, several lawmakers of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which holds 65 seats, said they “have some issues with Chang.”
The main problem dates to September last year, when Chang handled the case of the KMT attempting to strip Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) of his party membership, which could have voided his status as a lawmaker and a speaker, with unusual swiftness.
Some pro-Wang KMT lawmakers nicknamed Chang Ma’s “hired thug” in what they say were the president’s failed attempts to oust Wang from office by alleging that the speaker was involved in an undue influence case.
There were many complaints among KMT lawmakers about the nominees list, especially against Chang because of her role in the Ma-Wang political wrestling, said a KMT lawmaker who asked to remain anonymous.
People First Party Legislator Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔) said she did not think Chang would make a good Control Yuan president.
Chen said it would be inappropriate for Chang to lead the Control Yuan because she is a member of Chiayi’s Hsu (許) family, an active and influential local faction founded by Chang’s mother, Hsu Shih-hsien (許世賢).
“If Chang becomes the president of the Control Yuan, will she remain neutral and refrain from trying to unfairly influence the year-end elections?” Chen said.
Both Chen and Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Lai Chen-chang (賴振昌) accused Ma of political patronage in his appointment of candidates.
Chang has been unaffiliated with any political party since she launched her political career as an independent mayor of Chiayi in 1983, as has the Hsu family.
Though she is an independent, Chang was on good terms with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) until 2002, but the relationship went sour after she did not receive enough votes to be confirmed as vice president of the Examination Yuan. Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) won that contest by a slim margin.
Chang blamed the DPP and the TSU for the result, saying that some of their lawmakers broke ranks because she had rejected their attempts at extortion.
Chang did not present evidence to back her claims, which both the DPP and the TSU denied.
KMT Legislator Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟) said his party would decide whether to demand KMT lawmakers toe the party line on Thursday, in response to the DPP’s call for Ma, who doubles as KMT chairman, not to enforce party discipline for the vote.
Meanwhile, DPP Legislator Chiu Yi-ying (邱議瑩) cast doubt on the suitability of Wang Mei-yu (王美玉), former president of Chinese-language China Times, to be a member of the Control Yuan.
Under Wang Mei-yu, the newspaper often ran ads sponsored by the Chinese government and assisted Chinese local governments to place ads in Taiwan, which are both illegal practices, Chiu said.
That Ma nominated Wang Mei-yu and did not retain Control Yuan member Frank Wu (吳豐山), a veteran media professional, on his list of nominees, was an insult to Wu and sent the message that people who do things in China’s favor even though they are illegal will be richly rewarded, Chiu said.
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