Sat, Oct 01, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Legislators squabble over nominations

LEGAL WRANGLE:While the KMT believes Hsu Tzong-li’s appointment as Judicial Yuan president would be unconstitutional, the DPP said many academics disagree

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Premier Lin Chuan, sitting, looks on at the legislature in Taipei yesterday as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers question the nomination of former grand justice Hsu Tzong-li as the next Judicial Yuan president.

Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

Lawmakers yesterday quarreled over a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) proposal — which it later passed using its legislative majority — to change the legislative agenda so that the review process of the president’s nominations for Judicial Yuan president, vice president and five grand justices could begin.

DPP lawmakers arrived in the chamber early to make sure that Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers could not occupy the speaker’s podium, a scenario the former had been expecting.

The KMT has been insisting that the review of Hsu Tzong-li’s (許宗力) nomination for Judicial Yuan president be suspended because Hsu is a former grand justice — a post he left in 2011 — which the party says disqualifies him from holding the post.

The KMT caucus said whether Hsu can be appointed should be resolved by a constitutional interpretation before the nomination process could proceed.

A cross-caucus negotiation in the morning took about an hour, but failed to reach a consensus.

DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said the KMT caucus had feigned a willingness to negotiate, but had instead been attempting to delay the process.

“That is it. This frivolous game ends here,” Ker said.

The DPP caucus requested that the legislative agenda be fixed to foil any possibility of the KMT caucus obstructing proceedings by putting forward proposals to change the agenda, before proposing and passing the addition of the review process.

KMT Legislator Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said that the nomination of Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission Chief Commissioner Hsieh Wen-ting (謝文定), who had originally been nominated as Judicial Yuan president before the nomination was withdrawn following protests over his role in the KMT authoritarian regime, is “much less controversial” than that of Hsu’s.

“We are not against the grand justice nominees or the [Judicial Yuan] vice president nominee, but Hsu’s nomination is controversial not just for the KMT, but for many with legal backgrounds, who have called it inappropriate,” Lin said.

KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said the DPP was being “overbearing” in its attempt to push through the nomination process.

Lai said Ker should remember how the KMT caucus had, when it commanded a majority, helped the DPP caucus file a request for a constitutional interpretation over the National Communications Commission’s system of proportional political representation.

DPP Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) said that while the KMT cites “people’s opinions,” many academics have argued against Hsu’s appointment being unconstitutional.

“That is why we need to begin the review, so that whether the nominees qualify can be examined publicly. The KMT should stop supposing that its argument is correct. The obstruction the KMT is undertaking is tantrum-throwing because it does not know how to convince the public to support it,” Wu said.

The legislature passed the DPP’s proposal to start the review process on Thursday next week and vote on the nominees on Oct. 25.

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