The Presidential Office yesterday called off a news conference to announce President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) nominations for Control Yuan members an hour before its scheduled start, after one of the nominees sparked cross-party criticism.
Reports on Thursday cited sources as revealing that the nominees would include former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Chu (陳菊) of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as president and former Taitung County commissioner Justin Huang (黃健庭) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) as vice president.
The Control Yuan is the government branch responsible for investigating and disciplining public servants and agencies. It consists of 29 members who are appointed by the president and approved by the legislature every six years.
DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) on Facebook yesterday urged Tsai to reconsider Huang’s nomination, saying that while political affiliation was not a factor, Huang is not a qualified candidate due to past controversy when he served as county commissioner.
DPP legislatures Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬), Wang Ting-yu (王定宇) and Lai Pin-yu (賴品妤) also objected to Huang’s nomination.
It is incomprehensible that the proposed nominee for vice president is someone who has been convicted of corruption, and helped a business push through the controversial development of the Meiliwan Resort Hotel (美麗灣渡假村) in Taitung by flouting the law and the rights of Aborigines, Lin wrote.
The KMT was also surprised by Huang’s nomination, with KMT caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) saying that even KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) was not informed beforehand.
Any KMT member who accepts a political position offered by another party without obtaining party headquarters’ approval would be punished by the KMT Disciplinary Committee, as stipulated in the party’s charter, Lin Wei-chou said.
The KMT caucus is to convene a meeting on Tuesday next week to discuss the nominations and it likely would not be approved, he said.
Chiang said that while the KMT respects Huang’s personal decision, the disciplinary committee would still need to review the case and whether his party membership should be suspended.
For the KMT to consider the nomination of a party member as a gesture of goodwill and an act of cooperation, the nomination would have to be a collaboration between the KMT and DPP, he added.
The New Power Party caucus also objected to Huang’s nomination due to his controversial involvement in the Meiliwan Resort Hotel project, his alleged acceptance of fees from pharmaceutical firms when he was a legislator and other legal disputes.
Huang yesterday told a news conference that he would withdraw his nomination if the KMT refused to give its blessing.
He said that he had spoken to Chiang about the nomination on Thursday.
Asked about the legal disputes, Huang said that he had been wronged in many cases.
The High Court in 2016 found him not guilty of corruption, but convicted him of breaching the Business Entity Accounting Act (商業會計法), handing down a sentence of five months in prison or a fine of NT$135,000, Huang said, adding that he is appealing the ruling.
A nullification of the approval of an environmental impact assessment for the Meiliwan Resort Hotel had been made for procedural reasons, rather than environmental protection, and therefore the hotel cannot be identified as an illegal development, Huang said.
Additional reporting by Lee Hsin-fang and Wu Su-wei
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