The legislature began vetting the nominees for Control Yuan president and vice president yesterday on the first day of a three-day review of Control Yuan nominations in the final week of the extraordinary session.
Chang Po-ya (張博雅), who heads the Central Election Commission (CEC) and has been nominated to head the Control Yuan, has been dogged by controversy over her “fast handling” — as commission head — of a case involving Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng’s (王金平) status as a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator-at-large.
Chang reportedly processed the KMT’s documents to recall Wang as a lawmaker as a “high priority” case to get it passed immediately, signing off on the documents within 30 minutes of them appearing at the commission right before its office closed for the day.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
Chang yesterday rebuffed the accusation.
“[Wang’s] case was processed in a ‘standard’ manner, rather than as a ‘high priority’ case. It was handled in the same way as the cases of former Taiwan Solidarity Union legislator Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) and former Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] legislator Chiu Chang (邱彰),” she told reporters before the question-and-answer session began.
Chang said it was impossible for her to intervene in the alleged political feud between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Wang — which gave rise to the attempted recall of Wang’s legislator status — and that she has been “smeared” by attempts to portray her actions as out of the ordinary.
During yesterday’s session, DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said Chang was“[Ma’s] political hatchet man,” who is being promoted for her “excellent performance.”
Chen also said that a DPP questionnaire distributed to the 29 Control Yuan nominees, at least 72 percent of them had refused to answer whether they would have agreed — if they had been in the Control Yuan at the time — with the attempt to impeach former prosecutor-general Huang Shih-ming (黃世銘).
Huang was convicted in March of leaking confidential information to Ma about an on-going investigation into allegations of influence-peddling involving Wang and DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) in September last year.
A motion to impeach Huang was voted down twice by the Control Yuan before he tendered his resignation on his own.
People First Party (PFP) Legislator Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔) questioned the Control Yuan’s independence and neutrality as one of the five branches of government, saying that neither Huang nor Keelung Mayor Chang Tung-jung (張通榮), both of whom were later indicted, were impeached by the Control Yuan, while members of the former DPP government were impeached and yet courts later found them not guilty of the charges against them.
The PFP lawmaker, as well as DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), asked Chang whether she would agree to make public how Control Yuan members vote in an impeachment case. Such votes are now conducted by secret ballot.
“What the citizens want is a more transparent government, as called for by [the Sunflower movement]. We would like to see whether the members can exercise impartial judgement,” Hsiao said.
Chang said the Control Yuan is required by law to vote via secret ballots, but she personally considers it feasible to publicize information, such as the members’ statements in support of or opposing an impeachment.
Control Yuan vice presidential nominee Sun Ta-chuan (孫大川), a Puyuma Aborigine and former head of the Council of Indigenous Peoples, was reminded by several KMT legislators who are Aborigines that the indigenous people of this nation face a dire situation and their rights need be further protected.
Hsiao asked Sun not to stay silent about Aboriginal rights “just to be the Han Chinese’s high-ranking official,” referring to remarks that Ma has made about Aborigines.
A Keelung high school on Saturday night apologized for using a picture containing a Chinese flag on the cover of the senior yearbook, adding that it has recalled the books and pledged to provide students new ones before graduation on Thursday. Of 309 Affiliated Keelung Maritime Senior High School of National Taiwan Ocean University graduates, 248 had purchased the yearbook. Some students said that the printer committed an outrageous error in including the picture, while others said that nobody would notice such a small flag on the cover. Other students said that they cared more about the photographs of classmates and what was
GOING INTERNATIONAL: Rakuten Girls squad leader Ula Shen said she was surprised that baseball fans outside of Taiwan not only knew of them, but also knew their names Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland Athletics on Saturday hosted its first Taiwanese Heritage Day event at the Oakland Coliseum with a performance by Taiwanese cheerleading squad the Rakuten Girls and a video message from Vice President William Lai (賴清德). The Rakuten Girls, who are the cheerleaders for the CPBL’s Rakuten Monkeys, performed in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 people, followed by a prerecorded address by Lai about Taiwan’s baseball culture and democratic spirit. Taiwanese pitcher Sha Tzu-chen (沙子宸), who was signed by the Athletics earlier this year, was also present. Mizuki Lin (林襄), considered a “baseball cheerleading goddess” by Taiwanese
WAY OF THE RUKAI: ‘Values deemed worthy often exist amid discomfort, so when people go against the flow, nature becomes entwined with our lives,’ a student said “Run, don’t walk” after your dreams, Nvidia cofounder and chief executive officer Jensen Huang (黃仁勳) told National Taiwan University (NTU) graduates yesterday, as several major universities held in-person graduation ceremonies for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. “What will you create? Whatever it is, run after it. Run, don’t walk. Remember, either you’re running for food, or you are running from becoming food. Oftentimes, you can’t tell which. Either way, run,” he said. Huang was one of several tech executives addressing graduating students at Taiwanese universities. National Chengchi University held two ceremonies, with alumnus Patrick Pan (潘先國), who is head of Taiwan
A 14-legged giant isopod is the highlight of a new dish at a ramen restaurant in Taipei and it has people lining up — both for pictures and for a bite from this bowl of noodles. Since “The Ramen Boy” launched the limited-edition noodle bowl on Monday last week, declaring in a social media post that it had “finally got this dream ingredient,” more than 100 people have joined a waiting list to dine at the restaurant. “It is so attractive because of its appearance — it looks very cute,” said the 37-year-old owner of the restaurant, who wanted to be