Wed, Dec 19, 2018 - Page 3 News List

KMT mulls vote to repeal transitional justice panel

PUBLIC WILL?NPP Legislator Hsu Yung-ming warned the KMT against letting its election win go to its head, adding that it had backed the transitional justice act

By Lin Liang-sheng and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Transitional Justice Commission is pictured in Taipei on Sept. 14.

Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times

Emboldened by its triumph at the polls last month, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday said that the party “does not rule out” initiating referendums to repeal the Transitional Justice Commission in the 2020 presidential election.

The commission on Monday recommended that public institutions remove statues, portraits and other likeness of Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), including those displayed in military bases and on banknotes and coinage.

Lashing out at the commission, KMT lawmakers accused the Executive Yuan agency of vindictiveness and illegitimacy.

KMT Legislator Alex Fai (費鴻泰) said he is organizing referendums coinciding with the presidential election that would repeal the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例) and the commission.

Commission Acting Chairwoman “Yang Tsui (楊翠) is filled with hate,” he said, adding that her brand of transitional justice is an excuse for revenge and the commission is an unconstitutional organization that breaches the separation of powers and fails to follow due process.

Yang is the granddaughter of Yang Kui (楊逵), a prominent novelist jailed for 12 years for publishing “The Declaration of Peace” in 1949, in which he called for freedom of speech and urged the government to free political prisoners.

Fai said the KMT’s criticism of the commission is supported by evidence, with then-deputy chairman Chang Tien-chin (張天欽) referring to the commission as Dong Chang (東廠), a Ming Dynasty secret police and spy agency, during a closed-door meeting.

“The KMT cannot bear to see the nation being torn apart by the constant political strife and neglect of economic development,” he said.

The caucus demanded a complete overhaul of the commission before resuming its work, and that the central bank follow an April 2 resolution by the legislature’s Finance Committee to report to the committee on proposed changes to banknotes before talking to the commission.

The commission would not have any credibility until it is reconstituted, KMT caucus secretary-general William Tseng (曾銘宗) said.

KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) said he would propose amendments to three laws — the transitional justice act, the February 28 Incident Disposition and Compensation Act (22八事件處理及賠償條例) and the Archives Act (檔案法) — which if passed would repeal the commission, but the work to compensate victims and identify perpetrators would continue.

“Taiwanese want economic development,” Lai said.

“Yang is still living in the old days of political conflict. She should have mercy on the public,” he said.

The KMT represents the will of the people, who do not want the transitional justice commission, he said, adding that the commission’s recommendation should be “trashed.”

The Legislative Yuan’s Procedure Committee yesterday unanimously put into motion the transitional justice repeal bill, putting the proposal on the agenda of the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee as early as next week.

The bill was sponsored by 24 KMT lawmakers, including Lai, who said during deliberations that the constitutionality of the transitional justice act is controversial and accused the commission of doing hatchet jobs for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Repealing the law is in the interest of maintaining the credibility of the government and reining in abuses of authority, he said.

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