Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) is “incapable” of mapping out a vision for the country and is “inattentive” to the needs of the public because he is “obsessed with the struggle for power,” the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) said yesterday as they jointly sponsored a no-confidence motion.
The legislature later decided to hold a no-confidence vote in the premier at 9am on Tuesday after a plenary meeting to deliberate the motion on Monday.
There is little chance that the motion will succeed because that would require 10 to 12 Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers to vote for it to meet the 57-seat threshold in the 112-seat legislature, depending on how two independent lawmakers vote.
The People First Party, which has two seats, said that it would throw its support behind the motion to topple the administration led by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Jiang “in which people have lost confidence,” but that would make only a total of only 45 votes in favor.
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) sees the vote as a chance to bring to an end to the executive and legislative impasse.
“If the motion of no-confidence fails, it would be unjustifiable for the DPP to continue its boycott [of Jiang’s policy address to the legislature],” Wang said.
Before the motion was tabled, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a press conference at the legislature that the party took the action “on behalf of the people” because polls showed that 70 percent of the public consider both Ma and Jiang unfit for their positions.
Su urged all lawmakers to stand on the side of the people and to support the motion, regardless of their party affiliation, so that the voice of the people could be heard in the legislature.
“Let President Ma see how the people have judged him,” Su said.
Su said Ma calling the state’s top prosecutor to his residence to discuss a legal case with him and the disciplinary measures imposed on the legislative speaker in an attempt to oust him from office were things “that are not supposed to happen in a democracy.”
“[Those actions] have jeopardized constitutional order and political stability,” he said.
The political fallout sparked by the allegations made by the Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office on Sept. 6 that Wang unduly lobbied for DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) in a breach of trust case has been characterized by the DPP as a “political vendetta” waged by Ma against the legislative speaker.
As a string of controversies surrounding the SID’s probe and attempts by the KMT, of which Ma is the chairman, to deprive Wang of the speakership surfaced, Jiang became involved in political gridlock.
The DPP has demanded that the premier apologize to the legislature for his role in the “vendetta” before he is allowed to take the podium and deliver his policy address, which Jiang has declined to do.
The KMT yesterday called a caucus meeting where lawmakers were told that they could receive the severest possible punishment — expulsion from the party — if they fail to vote against the motion on Tuesday, KMT caucus whip Lin Te-fu (林德福) said.
According to Article 3 of the Additional Articles of the Constitution, a vote on a motion of no-confidence shall be an open ballot.
KMT Policy Committee chief executive Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) dismissed a rumor that Ma would ask some KMT lawmakers to secretly vote to support the motion so that he can invoke the his constitutional power to dissolve the legislature and call an election, whereby he would be able to consolidate his power over the party through the nomination process.
The Constitution stipulates that the premier must tender his resignation within 10 days of the legislature passing a motion of no-confidence and that he may request that the president dissolve the legislature.
Should the no-confidence motion fail, the legislature may not initiate another no-confidence motion against the same premier within a year.
The DPP-TSU motion claims there are seven major flaws with Jiang’s Cabinet, ranging from illegal wiretapping, backroom negotiations with Beijing on the cross-strait service trade agreement, a deceitful strategy to put the continued construction of the controversial Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮) to a referendum, among others.
Sources at the Executive Yuan said Jiang was mulling calling a press conference on Monday that would include all the members of the Cabinet to expound on what the Cabinet has achieved since he took over the premiership in February and to dispute the opposition’s charges.