While president-elect Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said she would respect the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus’ choice of legislative speaker for the incoming legislature, it has been widely predicted that DPP legislator-elect Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) is likely to be named to the role.
Tsai yesterday reaffirmed her stance on speaker selection as she attended a DPP caucus meeting at the Legislative Yuan, which media described as her supervising selection, but Tsai said her attendance at the first meeting of a new caucus was routine.
She urged caucus members to live up to the public’s expectations and spend time reviewing bills and focusing on transparency, reform, unity and public participation.
Photos: Taipei Times and CNA
“Whether the reshuffled Cabinet, led by incoming premier Simon Chang (張善政), is of a caretaker nature or not, it should perform its duties and the DPP caucus should participate in its supervisory role while respecting the newly appointed Cabinet to help stabilize the political situation,” Tsai said.
The three speculated to be in the running for the speaker position, including Su, and legislators Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) and Chen Ming-wen (陳明文), expressed deference to Tsai’s opinions and the caucus, while Ker said that the selection of three caucus leaders is also a concern, which could affect the balance between the administrative and legislative branches.
“The stability of the Tsai administration depends on the legislature, so ending bipartisan fighting between the DPP and the Chinese Nationalist Party [KMT] would be pivotal in smoothing the DPP’s rule,” Ker said.
Su is the most favored candidate, as the legislative speaker has to remain neutral and will not attend party events, while Su has more support among the 18 elected legislators-at-large than Ker, Su’s strongest competitor.
Su has been in close cooperation with Tsai, and served both as her running mate in the 2012 presidential election and campaign executive director in this year’s election.
Ker is a senior lawmaker who took his seat in 1993 and the current DPP caucus whip, and is experienced in conducting cross-party negotiations.
“Ker and Chen would be in their element if they assume leadership in the caucus, while they would be hamstrung by the neutrality of speakership,” the party source said.
The DPP caucus said a straw poll would be conducted tomorrow if the speaker and deputy speaker selection could not be decided by negotiation.
Meanwhile, while DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) is believed to have been appointed as the caucus’ deputy speaker, the party is considering making way for younger politicians.
Tsai Chi-chang said Tsai Ing-wen should evaluate the candidates by their ability to carry out legislative reform and their public reception, while the DPP caucus voluntarily prioritized her opinion, as the DPP could not afford failure after it returned to power.
He said clearer messages would surface in these few days, and there is little chance the selection of speakership and caucus leadership would go to vote.
“The paring of Su and Tsai Chi-chang has a staunch support base and is believed to cause less friction in the new legislature,” the party source said.
In addition, DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) is believed to be in line to run for Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu’s (陳菊) job after Chen Chu finishes her term in two years. Kuan has been silent whenever her name is mentioned in the speakership race, the party source said.
Taiwan does not exclude the possibility of having formal diplomatic relations with countries that also have formal ties with China, regardless of Beijing’s stance, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said on Sunday. There was speculation in 2012 that Honduras was attempting to have simultaneous diplomatic relations with Taiwan and China, an idea that then-minister of foreign affairs David Lin (林永樂) rejected. Honduras severed formal ties with Taiwan on Sunday morning after establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing. President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has taken a more practical approach to relations with like-minded countries since assuming government in 2016. Previous administrations took the
Seven senior faculty members, including the principal, of a high school in Taichung were temporarily suspended from their jobs on Friday, pending an investigation by the Taichung Education Bureau into alleged bullying and abuse that led to the suicide of a student last month. The city’s education officials were too slow to suspend those involved, the student’s father told a news conference on Wednesday, at which Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅) and members of the Humanistic Education Foundation were also present. The boy had been a good student and a high achiever during elementary and junior-high, and had
Taiwan would have established formal relations with Argentina long ago if not for China’s interference, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Yui told US-based Spanish-language online news outlet Infobae in an interview published on Tuesday. Beijing has left behind a string of unfulfilled promises in Latin America, including pledges to build the Grand Nicaragua Canal and airports, docks, ports and industrial zones in El Salvador, he said. Meanwhile, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and other countries enjoy pragmatic and improving relations with Taiwan based on cooperation on the economy, culture, technology and science, he said. While Taiwan is “happy to live and let live,”
TASK FORCE DISPATCHED: MOFA said it would assist state employees with repatriation or relocation to other ally nations in the region after Tegucigalpa severed ties The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Monday ordered Honduras to vacate its embassy in Taiwan within 30 days of Sunday after Tegucigalpa made a similar demand of Taiwan. Taipei on Monday announced that it had cut ties with Honduras after the Central American nation earlier said in a statement that it had established ties with Beijing and ended its diplomatic relationship with Taiwan. Following the announcements, Honduran Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Garcia spoke on Honduran television saying that Taiwan would be required to vacate its embassy in the Honduran capital. In Taipei, MOFA later told a news conference that “according