After three-and-a-half years of paralysis, the Control Yuan reopened yesterday, with members vowing to remain impartial even as groups gathered outside to call for probes into 10 scandals allegedly involving President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) during his stint as Taipei mayor.
In a speech at a ceremony yesterday, Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien said he and his colleagues would be neutral in their new roles.
“When investigating cases, the Control Yuan looks only at black and white — it is indifferent to blue and green,” Wang said.
Ma’s nomination of Wang and the other Control Yuan members was approved by the legislature last month, but Control Yuan vice presidential nominee Shen Fu-hsiung (沈富雄) and three other nominees, affiliated with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), were rejected.
Wang has said in media interviews that the Control Yuan will initially probe cases involving senior officials of the DPP administration, including the Papua New Guinea diplomatic scandal and the controversial arms firm Taiwan Goal.
“To begin with, there are more cases regarding the DPP as it is the former ruling party, but it’s likely that we will also handle cases involving the KMT in the future,” Wang was quoted as saying at the time.
Under the five-branch governmental system spelled out in the Constitution, the Control Yuan’s main task is to exercise the power of impeachment and censure of elected officials and civil servants, as well as to audit government spending.
Wang yesterday emphasized the importance of righteousness and expressed the hope that all Control Yuan members would pursue justice.
“It’s neither economic development nor technology that exalts a nation, it is justice. Without justice, there is no economic development and technology,” he said.
The government’s highest watchdog had been idle since the terms of the previous members expired on Jan. 31, 2005, as the KMT and its pan-blue allies refused to review former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) nomination list.
During the time the Control Yuan has been inactive, approximately 32,000 cases have piled up for review, 300 of which will require in-depth investigation, the Control Yuan has said.
Later yesterday Wang called a meeting of Control Yuan members to discuss which cases should be prioritized.
The Control Yuan said it would start by probing 24 cases of particular concern to the public, including the Papua New Guinea scandal, Taiwan Goal and the “state affairs fund” embezzlement allegations against Chen.
Each of the 24 Control Yuan members was assigned a case in a drawing of lots.
“We hope at least one-quarter of the 24 cases will be completed by the end of this year,” Wang said.
Wang said the Control Yuan might question Chen if necessary.
Wang said the Control Yuan would also look into another 24 cases involving senior officials that had been referred for investigation by other government agencies and 48 cases of administrative irregularity identified by the Ministry of Audit.
Ma presided over a swearing-in ceremony for Wang and the other Control Yuan members earlier yesterday at the Presidential Office and expressed his hope that the Control Yuan would rid the nation of social ills, but treat accused officials and civil servants fairly during investigations.
Meanwhile, the DPP caucus said yesterday it was preparing 16 cases to refer to the Control Yuan, two of which involved Wang.
“We ask the Control Yuan to investigate former minister of finance Wang’s order that the National Property Administration under the ministry sell the property rights to the former KMT Central Committee building on Renai Road to the KMT in 1990, and the financial crisis caused by Wang’s allowing a number of new banks to be established in the early 1990s,” DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) told a press conference.
Ker said Wang might have helped the KMT and the new banks earn illegal profits.
“We ask Wang not to intervene in the two cases involving himself,” Ker said.
Additional reporting by Rich Chang and Mo Yan-chih
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