Premier says he did not force Tseng Yung-fu to resign

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Sep 13, 2013 - Page 3

Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday disputed the claim by Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫), who recently resigned as minister of justice over an influence-peddling case, that he was behind the resignation.

As a politically appointed Cabinet official, Tseng had to shoulder political responsibility, but that did not reach the level of the involuntary resignation as Jiang alleged, Executive Yuan spokesperson Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) quoted Jiang as saying at a press conference.

The incident, in which Tseng was accused by prosecutors of meddling in a legal case involving a Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker in response to a request by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), “has called the credibility of the Ministry of Justice into question,” Jiang was quoted as saying.

“When people raised questions about the ministry’s trustworthiness and credibility, the politically appointed official [heading the ministry] was responsible for this,” Cheng quoted Jiang as saying.

At yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, Jiang spoke about recent political disturbances surrounding the incident, Cheng said.

The statement by Tseng on Tuesday, delivered at his farewell ceremony at the ministry, has “caused some misunderstandings” regarding Jiang’s participation in Tseng’s resignation, Cheng quoted Jiang as saying.

On Tuesday, Tseng told colleagues that he had done no wrong in the alleged influence-peddling case, but Jiang demanded his resignation without giving reasons.

According to Cheng, Jiang told the Cabinet that “everyone should be prepared that [politically appointed officials] must leave [their] positions at any time if anything major happens.”

Jiang told the Cabinet that he was “a simple person,” incapable of political plotting or calculation, and had no plans to pursue higher political office, Cheng said.

As a stormy legislative session was to be expected and concerns over political turmoil grow, Jiang urged Cabinet members to visit lawmakers more frequently to ensure that bills would not be struck down, Cheng said.