Sun, Jan 22, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Time to get rid of Control Yuan, civic groups say

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should push for a constitutional change to eliminate the Control Yuan rather than continuing to nominate new members as terms expire, civic groups said yesterday at an academic forum.

“Even though this issue has been put on the back burner, we expect a list of nominees to emerge soon, making it an important issue to consider given that both Tsai and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) promised to abolish the Control Yuan,” Taipei Society head Chiou Wen-tsong (邱文聰) said, adding that his group and other participants all refused the Presidential Office’s invitation to recommend Control Yuan candidates because of their stance.

“A national human rights commission should be established, and the constitutional amendment process should be initiated to fulfill the DPP’s electoral promise to push for the Control Yuan’s abolition. There has never been a better time to make the push,” Taiwan Association for Human Rights executive board member Liu Ching-yi (劉靜怡) said, adding that current human rights work was too reliant on the goodwill of individual Control Yuan members.

The Control Yuan has long opposed the establishment of a separate human rights commission, claiming that investing a commission with investigatory and censorship powers would infringe on its own authority.

“It clearly does not have good judgement on what laws and governmental behavior are in accordance with human rights standards,” Covenants Watch executive board member Huang Song-lih (黃嵩立) said.

A Control Yuan ruling that faulted the executive branch for failing to take action against uncompensated use of government land set into motion a wave of forced eviction cases against disadvantaged residents, he said.

“The motivation behind the government’s move to nominate officials looks suspiciously like sharing political spoils,” Taiwan Democracy Watch president Chen Chao-ju (陳昭如) said, calling for Tsai to explain how the nominations would tie into her pledge to abolish the Control Yuan.

DPP Legislator Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋) said he had initially been opposed to making new nominations, but had been told by Tsai that making the nominations was her constitutional duty and she hoped to use them to strengthen the Control Yuan’s supervision of the judicial branch.

“The Control Yuan should be abolished and a national human rights commission should be established, while the need for fundamental constitutional change remains the same,” he said, comparing the current Republic of China constitutional framework to a piece of illegal architecture that the DPP would to aim to gradually “shake loose,” because the high threshold for constitutional amendments makes “complete demolition” difficult.

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