Premier rejects DPP demands for an apology

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Oct 01, 2013 - Page 3

Having been blocked from presenting his policy address to the Legislative Yuan since the new legislative session began two weeks ago, Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday remained firm on the position “not to give way to” the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) demand for an apology for his alleged role in a move to oust Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平).

Jiang said that he has full support from his Cabinet members.

“After some thoughts, the reason the DPP wanted me to apologize was really unjustifiable. There was no reason I have to apologize,” Jiang said during an interview with BCC Pop Network yesterday morning.

The DPP has demanded that Jiang apologize to the legislature for his role in President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) actions to oust Wang over the latter’s alleged involvement in a case of improper lobbying before he takes the podium to deliver his policy address.

Jiang, along with 42 Cabinet officials, sat in their chairs in the legislature all day on Sept. 17 and Tuesday last week, as well as on Friday afternoon waiting for the beginning of the question-and-answer session.

“This was not the first time a premier was not able to deliver his policy address in the legislature. The opposition parties had occupied the floor in almost every new session,” Jiang said.

Some of the previous boycotts ended with the Executive Yuan “yielding” to the opposition’s demands on various issues, ranging from the imports of US beef products that contain residual additives, the capital gains tax on securities transactions and planned increases in electricity rates, he said.

“It’s not that I meant to judge or criticize the legislature, but we do hope that we can have a better political culture in the legislature,” Jiang said.

The DPP’s accusation that he had demanded that Wang resign and that the Executive Yuan was ready to face a legislature without Wang was based on “manipulated” news coverage of his remarks, the premier said.

Jiang was referring to reports by the Chinese-language United Evening News and the Central News Agency early last month.

“I don’t think I have infringed the rights of the legislature. My Cabinet members all stand firmly by my decision not to apologize for something I did not say and give in to [the DPP’s] demands, which are based on groundless accusations,” Jiang said.

Jiang, reportedly one of a small number behind a plan to remove Wang as speaker, said that various speculations about why Wang was involved in allegations of improper lobbying were “conspiracy theories.”