The Presidential Office yesterday fended off criticism that Presidential Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nominations of 11 Control Yuan members runs counter to a long-term plan to abolish the watchdog agency, saying that its stance remains unchanged.
The current Control Yuan president, vice president and 16 members were all nominated by former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and approved by the previous legislature, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) said.
“However, [Tsai was elected in] last year’s Jan. 16 presidential election with a new mandate; the new nominations made to fill the current vacancies ... will make it more representative of that mandate,” he said.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
Tsai’s nominees were also picked to ensure that the Control Yuan is able to function properly — supervising government agencies and offering assistance to people whose rights have been infringed on due to miscarriages of justice — before the Constitution is amended to pave the way for the agency’s abolition, Huang said.
All 11 nominees are top-notch professionals in their respective fields, which include the environment, public health, the law and human rights, social welfare and finance, he said.
“We must stress that it has been our consistent stance to abrogate the Control Yuan through constitutional amendment. This stance remains unchanged,” Huang said.
According to Article 7 of the Additional Articles of the Republic of China (ROC) Constitution, the Control Yuan “shall consist of 29 members, including a president and a vice president, all of whom shall serve a term of six years.”
Their nominations require the consent of the legislature.
Huang’s remarks came a few hours after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) held a news conference in Taipei to label the nominations a slap in the face of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
“The DPP has for years advocated the abolition of the Control Yuan and the Examination Yuan... Yet after the party gained power, it swiftly nominated candidates to fill the vacancies at the Control Yuan,” KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Tang Te-ming (唐德明) said.
Given the nominees’ backgrounds, their selection was apparently a “political reward” from the DPP for their service or electoral support, Tang said, citing attorney Yang Fang-wan (楊芳婉), who represented former first lady Wu Shu-jen (吳淑珍) in her corruption trial, and People First Party Deputy Secretary-General Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) as examples.
Other nominees include former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟); former activist and Taipei City Government employee Wang Yu-ling (王幼玲); Deputy Minister of Overseas Community Affairs Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇); former independent legislator Walis Perin; Lin Sheng-fong (林盛豐), a professor; Chang Wu-shou (張武修), a physician; lawyer Kao Yung-cheng (高涌誠); former DPP legislator Jao Yung-ching (趙永清); and judge Tsai Chung-yi (蔡崇義).
Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) introduced the 11 nominees to the public at a news conference at the Presidential Office Building after they met earlier in the day with Tsai.
Saying the nominations were aimed at maintaining the Control Yuan’s role of supervising and safeguarding human rights, Chen Chien-jen said he hoped the nominees’ experience would help them undertake the watchdog’s duties.
As the nominees would only be serving the remaining term of their predecessors, their terms are set to expire on July 31, 2020, he said.
“We have communicated with Legislative Speaker [Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全)] about the confirmation of their nominations. He promised to arrange for a review of their cases in the legislature as soon as possible,” Chen Chien-jen said, adding that he expected the nominations to be approved within one to two months.
Days after it was banned in China, a Mandarin ballad satirizing nationalistic Chinese Internet users is trending at No. 1 on YouTube in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Fragile (玻璃心), by Taiwan-based Malaysian rapper Namewee (黃明志) and Australian singer Kimberley Chen (陳芳語), offers a tongue-in-cheek apology to “little pink” Internet users, a disparaging term that describes patriotic “keyboard warriors” from China. After racking up more than 9 million views on YouTube, the song reached No. 3 on the site in Malaysia on Thursday, according to Kworb, a Web site that analyzes music data from around the world. It is also the only Chinese-language
NO CHANGE: US officials indicated that the ‘one China’ policy remains in place, while the NATO chief avoided discussing Biden’s comment in an effort to ease tensions US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Friday that the Pentagon would continue to support Taiwan’s military, but he declined to say if US troops would defend the island against China, after US President Joe Biden said there was a US “commitment” to do so. “As we’ve done over multiple administrations, we will continue to help Taiwan with the sorts of capabilities that it needs to defend itself,” Austin said at NATO headquarters. “So we’ll stay focused on those things, and I won’t engage in any hypotheticals with respect to Taiwan,” he told reporters. Biden on Thursday sparked a new firestorm
PROTECTION: The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a full vaccination rate of 30 percent, and allowing mixed first and second doses to boost coverage rates Whether Taiwan reopens its borders would depend on the nation’s vaccination coverage rate and the COVID-19 situation in other countries, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said yesterday. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a 70 percent first-dose vaccination coverage and 30 percent two-dose coverage as part of its consideration, Shih told a media briefing following the weekly Cabinet meeting. In spite of a relatively stable COVID-19 situation in Taiwan, and calls from foreign missions and businesses in the country to allow more international travelers, the government is maintaining strict border control measures. Since March last year,
SCENIC TRAIN TOURS: TRA Director-General Du Wei said experts on aesthetics and railway culture have worked for 10 months to restore the blue locomotive Breezy Blue, the Taiwan Railways Administration’s (TRA) tourism train, is to be launched on the South Link Line on Saturday. The railway operator spent about 10 months restoring the blue diesel-powered train, which first provided service to students and commuters before being outsourced to Lion Travel, which organizes railway tour packages. TRA Director-General Du Wei (杜微) told reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony in Pingtung County’s Fangliao Township (枋寮) that the agency hopes that the restored Breezy Blue would provide an authentic experience to railway fans as well as those with fond memories of riding the blue trains to work or