On Tuesday last week, representatives of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus held a news conference at which they declared their opposition to the government’s nominees for Control Yuan members. They asked why the governing Democratic Progressive Party is proposing a full list of nominees for Control Yuan membership even though it has called for abolishing the Control Yuan and the Examination Yuan.
The KMT legislators announced that their caucus would boycott President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) Control Yuan nominations on the grounds that the Examination Yuan and Control Yuan should be abolished.
However, from a legal point of view, the proposal to abolish these two branches of government is a completely separate matter from the president’s duty to nominate Control Yuan members. Until such time as the Constitution is amended to abolish these two branches, the president must nominate members to the Examination Yuan and Control Yuan in accordance with the Constitution as it is. To do otherwise would be unconstitutional.
Council of Grand Justices Constitutional Interpretation No. 632 says: “The Control Yuan is an integral and indispensable national agency for the normal operations of the constitutional system with its specific power bestowed by the Constitution. Given that the [president], [vice president] and [members] are all legal positions preserved by the Constitution, it behooves all constitutional agencies, as regards their respective duties, to maintain the functional existence and normal operations of the Control Yuan.”
“To ensure the continuous exercise of power by the Control Yuan, prior to the expiration of the term of the incumbent [president], [vice president] and [members], the president should nominate candidates to fill these positions in a timely manner and seek the Legislative Yuan’s consent. The Legislative Yuan, in turn, should exercise such consent power in a timely manner to maintain the normal operations of the Control Yuan,” it says.
“The Constitution does not allow for the event in which either the president or the Legislative Yuan fails to nominate or consent to the nomination of candidates so that the Control Yuan cannot exercise its power or function, thereby jeopardizing the integrity of the constitutional system,” it adds.
That, once more, means that until such time as the Constitution is amended to abolish the Examination Yuan and Control Yuan, it would be unconstitutional for the president not to nominate Control Yuan members.
If the KMT really is in favor of abolishing the Examination Yuan and Control Yuan, it should act like a responsible opposition party by proposing a draft constitutional amendment.
If the KMT continues to conflate the issues of abolishing the examination and control branches with that of the president’s duty to nominate Control Yuan members, the debate would descend into a shouting match that does nothing constructive for constitutional politics.
Huang Di-ying is a lawyer and chairman of the Taiwan Forever Association.
Translated by Julian Clegg
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