KMT lawmakers disapprove of President Chen nominations

The China Post staff

Leaders of the Kuomintang’s (KMT) caucus in the Legislative Yuan decided yesterday not to approve the two grand justices under the Judicial Yuan and four members of the Control Yuan nominated by President Chen Shui-bian. They said the major reason is to save taxpayers’ money. They expect their colleagues of the People First Party (PFP) will take the same action. Legislators officially ended their current session yesterday. But they will hold extra meetings tomorrow and Friday to exercise their rights of confirming the grand justices, Control Yuan members, new president of the Examination Yuan and members of the yuan. At the meetings of the KMT’s legislative caucus, lawmakers of the party decided not to vote on the nominees for the two seats of grand justices and four seats in the Control Yuan. They pointed out that there are only four vacancies in the 29-seat Control Yuan and all members will serve out their terms next year and new members have to be appointed then. There are already 15 grand justices and the two vacancies will in no way to affect the normal operations. The lawmakers said it is not wise to increase the taxpayers’ financial burden and further strain the government’s finances at a time when President Chen and the Executive Yuan are pushing for a downsizing of the government and the overall economy remains stagnant, the unemployment rate is still high and government deficit continues to expand. They said that KMT legislators will simply not go into the meeting room to cast their ballots. The “no show” can fully express their stand on the issue. As for the KMT lawmakers’ attitude toward President Chen’s nomination of president and vice president of the Examination Yuan as well as new members of the yuan, they said, the party’s legislative caucus will hold a separate meeting on the issue today. But an initial survey of KMT lawmakers shows that the majority of them oppose former Chairman Yao Chia-wen of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) as new president of the Examination Yuan, according to Legislator Lin Shih-yi. Please see KMT on page

There are only a few colleagues with whom further communications and exchange of views are needed. Two KMT lawmakers make it known that they plan to back Yao’s nomination if they are given a free hand. But Legislator Yu Yueh-hsia said she will stick to her decision to vote for Yao no matter what party disciplinary actions she might face.

If the party caucus decides against Yao’s nomination, Lin said, KMT lawmakers will not stay in the meeting room to cast their ballots. Most of them question Yao’s strong advocacy of Taiwan independence. They also have reservations about Yao’s stand of abolishing the Examination Yuan. They said it is rather weird for a person to seek to be the head of the government branch he tries to eliminate. DPP lawmaker Wang To expressed regrets about the KMT decision. He said the way of abstaining ballots with no-shows of KMT lawmakers is tantamount to the use of party discipline to force every legislators to toe the party line. Wang said all political parties should allow their lawmakers to cast their votes on the confirmations of every individual nominees on their free will. The DPP’s caucus in the Legislative Yuan also held a meeting yesterday ahead of the showdown and decided to give full backing to all of President Chen’s nominees, stressing the president has the right to nominate proper persons to all vacant posts. Wang, who is also a DPP leader in the legislative branch, said the DPP caucus decided that all DPP lawmakers will have to cast “unanimous votes” on confirmations.

He said all members of the party will have to heed the instructions from the DPP caucus and DPP officials who closely monitor the ballot of every lawmaker of the party.