The New Power Party (NPP) caucus yesterday said that it would “strictly review” President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) Control Yuan nominees, while calling on the other caucuses to propose a draft constitutional amendment to abolish the Control Yuan and Examination Yuan.
The Control Yuan is a quasi-judicial agency and the NPP has long advocated eliminating that branch of government, NPP caucus whip Chiu Hsien-chih (邱顯智) told a news conference in Taipei.
The party believes that the Control Yuan’s authority to launch investigations belongs with the Legislative Yuan and the judiciary, he said.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
However, it believes that the Control Yuan’s National Human Rights Commission should be retained and transferred to another branch — the Presidential Office for example — after the Control Yuan is eliminated, he added.
As an example of the Control Yuan interfering with judicial proceedings, Chiu said that a Control Yuan member, citing their own investigation report, in 2018 interceded on behalf of a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Miaoli County councilor charged with corruption by ordering a court to acquit the councilor.
Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) is to preside over a Constitutional Reform Committee to discuss lowering the legal voting age, and the NPP believes that abolishing the Control Yuan and Examination Yuan should be among the topics on the agenda, he said.
Lawmakers from opposition and ruling parties have arrived at a consensus that the Control Yuan and Executive Yuan should be abolished, and the NPP believes that Tsai’s nominees should be the last, he added.
NPP caucus director-general Claire Wang (王婉諭) said that as the Act on Property Declaration by Public Servants (公職人員財產申報法) only requires the president, vice president, legislators and mayors to declare their assets, the caucus next week would ask the Control Yuan nominees whether they support amending the act to include city and county councilors to reduce the possibility of graft.
Tsai in 2016 pledged to demolish illegal factories and the legislature last year passed the Factory Management Act (工廠管理輔導法), but there are still many illegal factories on farmland and the caucus would ask the nominees whether they intend to crack down on illegal factories if approved, NPP Legislator Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) said.
In related news, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said he believes that former Presidential Office secretary-general Chen Chu (陳菊) is an apt choice as Control Yuan president, after the nomination had sparked controversy.
Referencing Chen Chu’s past as a political prisoner on death row following the Kaohsiung Incident in 1979, Su said that as a young woman, Chen Chu did not fear death, but acted in a calm and collected manner by drafting a will.
Chen Chu has defended human rights for half a century, so heading the Control Yuan and the National Human Rights Commission would be fulfilling her life’s goal, he said.
After Chen Chu said that she would resign from the DPP if she is nominated Control Yuan president, Su said that it is the party’s long-standing policy that once a party member assumes a role at an independent agency their party membership would be revoked to ensure neutrality.
Asked if he supports eliminating the Control Yuan and Examination Yuan, Su said that he does, but that the Constitution does not allow for it.
“Some reforms are not possible before the Constitution is amended and therefore cannot be implemented immediately,” he said.
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