The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday submitted a petition to the Control Yuan asking it to investigate the alleged bias of five Transitional Justice Commission staff embroiled in a scandal that on Tuesday resulted in the resignation of commission deputy chairman Chang Tien-chin (張天欽).
“After the news broke that Chang was attempting to target a certain individual, he was the only one forced to step down, while commission Secretary-General Hsu Chun-ju (許君如), two commission researchers and one associate researcher, who were also implicated, have been allowed to remain in their posts,” KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) told a news conference outside the Control Yuan in Taipei.
The failure of those five people to adhere to the principle of administrative neutrality poses a dire threat to the properties of the nation’s civil associations, he said.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
“That is why we call on Control Yuan members to launch an investigation and exercise their power of corrective measures to suspend those who have breached the principle of neutrality,” Hung said.
Chang’s resignation came in the aftermath of a leaked audio recording of an informal meeting on Aug. 24, which was allegedly attended by him, Hsu and commission researchers Hsiao Chi-nan (蕭吉男) and Tseng Chien-yuan (曾建元), as well as two associate researchers, Chang Shih-yueh (張世岳) and Wu Pei-jung (吳佩蓉).
Wu was the only participant exempted from the KMT’s petition, as she reportedly leaked the recording to the media.
According to a partial transcript published by the Chinese-language magazine Mirror Media on Tuesday, Chang discussed with the other participants ways to manipulate public opinion to bring former New Taipei City deputy mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) — the KMT’s candidate for New Taipei City mayor in the Nov. 24 nine-in-one elections — to account for his actions during the White Terror era.
Hou headed the Taipei Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division in its failed attempt to arrest — at the behest of the then-KMT regime — democracy activist Deng Nan-jung (鄭南榕) at the office of his Freedom Era Weekly magazine in 1989. Deng refused to be taken alive, and immolated himself after locking himself in the office.
The five contravened the Civil Service Administrative Neutrality Act (公務人員行政中立法) and the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例), which require commission members to transcend partisan politics and bar them from participating in political activities, acting KMT Culture and Communications Committee director-general Tang Te-ming (唐德明) said.
“Their plan to target Hou constituted campaigning for the Democratic Progressive Party’s New Taipei City mayoral candidate, [former premier] Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌). Does that count as participating in political activities?” Tang asked.
Tang requested that Control Yuan members also purge the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee and the Central Election Commission of politically biased officials to ensure the organizations’ independence and neutrality.
Several New Party members later also tendered a similar petition to the Control Yuan, demanding that Control Yuan member Yang Fang-wan (楊芳婉), who is Chang’s wife, place duty above family loyalty.
Separately yesterday, without notifying the Executive Yuan in advance, several KMT legislators climbed over the front entrance and walls of the Executive Yuan in a bid to meet with with Premier William Lai (賴清德) over the Chang case.
They shouted slogans at the entrance of the building for roughly an hour before leaving the site at about 11:25am.
Executive Yuan spokesperson Kolas Yotaka later said the Cabinet regrets the KMT legislators’ choice of method to communicate with the agency.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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