Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chen Ken-te (陳根德) yesterday called for President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to grant a pardon to jailed former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) under the condition that the Democratic Progressive Party reaches agreement with President Ma on the matter.
Chen Ken-te proposed the idea during a question-and-answer session with Premier Sean Chen (陳冲) in the legislature, marking him the second pan-blue politician to appeal for Chen Shui-bian’s medical parole.
Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) in August called on the Ma administration to consider granting Chen Shui-bian, who is serving a 17-and-a-half-year sentence for corruption, medical parole.
Chen Ken-te sought the premier’s views on the possibility that Taiwan emulate the granting of pardons to the two former presidents of South Korea, Roh Tae-woo and Chun Doo-hwan, imprisoned for corruption charges, by former South Korean president Kim Dae-jung.
Kim Dae-jung took the initiative to meet with former South Korean president Kim Young-Sam, who put the two corrupt former presidents in jail, and agreed to the pardons through political negotiations, “which was why the South Korea sailed through its economic difficulties then and created its economic achievements today,” the lawmaker said.
Chen Ken-te said the pardons in South Korea and the pardon granted to former US president Richard Nixon both healed political divisions within societies and enabled the people to unite together to move their nations forward.
In response, Sean Chen said that he agreed that granting a pardon to Chen Shui-bian would help improve the political atmosphere, adding that under the Amnesty Act (赦免法), adding that only the president and the Ministry of Justice have the power to make the decision to grant parole, not the premier.