Ma turning focus to caucus: Wang

By Flora Wang, Rich Chang and Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Wed, Jan 27, 2010 - Page 3

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday that he could feel more goodwill toward the legislature from President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) since the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won three more seats earlier this month, putting it over the one-quarter threshold.

Wang said in an interview with Radio Taiwan International yesterday morning that Ma had been building mutual trust with Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators by arranging gatherings to hear their opinions.

Wang said the arrangement showed that Ma now considered the legislature more important, adding that the president also planned to meet members of the Non-Partisan Solidarity Union.

Meanwhile, Wang said participants at a Presidential Office meeting had concluded that there was no need for Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘), the president’s nominee for prosecutor-general, to visit individual legislators to canvass support.

Ma confirmed Huang’s nomination on Monday, triggering mixed reviews from lawmakers.

The legislature must review the nomination before it is finalized.

The speaker said as long as Huang, who is currently deputy minister of justice, improves his communication with KMT legislators, he would not suffer a fate similar to that of Shen Fu-hsiung (沈富雄), who was rejected as nominee for vice president of the Control Yuan in July last year.

Huang was named after former prosecutor-general Chen Tsung-ming (陳聰明) resigned following his impeachment by the Control Yuan last week.

The government watchdog voted 8-3 to impeach Chen, citing concerns over his “integrity” and “sincerity” in leading the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigation Panel probe into alleged corruption involving the former first family.

Meanwhile, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) yesterday accused Huang of failing to reform the prosecutorial system in his role at the justice ministry.

Ma has pledged to reform the judicial system, including by amending the Code of Criminal Procedure to strengthen the presumption of innocence, but Huang and the ministry have failed to promote such reforms, Chen Ting-fei told a press conference yesterday.

She said there had been no judicial reform at all since Ma took office.

The DPP has said that it believes Huang has deep-blue political leanings and would not secure the public’s confidence as a result.

Chen Ting-fei said she wanted Huang to say whether he would be willing to spearhead an investigation into the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) three-in-one sale of the Broadcasting Corp of China, China Television Co and Central Motion Picture Corp to China Times Group subsidiary Jungli Investment Co for NT$9.3 billion (US$286.7 million), and the party’s sale of the Institute of Policy Research and Development building to Yuan Lih Construction Corp for NT$4.3 billion.

Both deals took place during Ma’s first stint as party chairman, the legislator said.

She also questioned whether Huang would probe the construction of Taipei’s Maokong Gondola and the Taipei Arena, both of which were planned and built during Ma’s time as Taipei mayor.

Huang must also explain why the judiciary has mainly probed pan-green politicians over their spending of special allowances, Chen Ting-fei said.

In related news, most prosecutors of the Special Investigation Panel may stay on if Huang becomes the new prosecutor-general despite media speculation to the contrary.

Rumors have been flying since Chen Tsung-ming stepped down that all 14 members of the panel had tendered their resignation in a show of support.

However, panel spokesperson Chen Yun-nan (陳雲南) yesterday said the members had only requested to be reassigned to the jobs they had before joining the investigation panel.

Since many of the panel’s prosecutors have worked under Huang in the past at the Taipei Prosecutor’s Office, it is widely expected that they will stay on or be reappointed to the panel if Huang assumes the post.

Chen Yun-nan declined to say whether prosecutors would change their minds and stay on. Members of the investigation panel also declined to comment.

The panel probes major cases and has led the investigation into the former first family. It reports directly to the prosecutor-general.