Chen mulls new Control Yuan nominees

The China Post staff

President Chen Shui-bian said yesterday that he has not ruled out the possibility of forwarding a new list of nominees to the Control Yuan, the nation’s highest watchdog agency, for review and confirmation by lawmakers. Chen revealed the possible plan in San Salvador, El Salvador, when talking to members of Taiwan media traveling with him on his three-nation Central American visit since Aug. 21. He expressed the hope that members of the Legislative Yuan would perform their constitutional duty to act on his nominations. Reporters accompanying Chen on the journey asked him whether the plan of submitting new nominees to the parliament counters the repeated vows of his ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to abolish the Control Yuan,

Not at all, he said.

He added that the Control Yuan is an indispensable part of Taiwan government formed under the Constitution and it should not be left without members.

Chen told the journalists that he would change his list to accommodate the opposition’s requests for the sake of political harmony in Taiwan.

He said he had asked Vice President Annette Lu before he left Taipei for his Central America trip to sound out the opposition’s opinion on the issue. Chen presented a list of 29 nominees on Dec. 20, 2004 as required by the Constitution. The list was turned down by the opposition-controlled Legislature. The Kuomintang and the People First Party refused to endorse the list on the grounds that it was packed with Chen’s political proteges, and they were not willing to fund donors who were not qualified to exercise the objective duty of supervising the operations of government agencies and public servants.

After the lawmakers declined the confirmation, the president refused to nominate any new members for the Control Yuan, commencing the ongoing standoff that will soon enter its third year. Legislative Yuan President Wang Jin-pyng had tried in vain to help settle the stalemate through a series of a multi-party coordination meetings. The political impasse has raised the eyebrows of the country’s grand justices who made a ruling on the controversy on Aug. 15 this year at the request of lawmakers of the ruling DPP. The justices ruled that the president should present his nominees and that the Legislative Yuan’s refusal to carry out its obligation to act on the president’s nominations is not allowed by the Constitution.

Following a centuries-old Chinese system, the Control Yuan is usually the last stop for people seeking justice for grievances after they have tried all other public channels. Close to 20,000 petitions and grievances have been filed by people who thought they were bullied or unfairly treated by either public servants or government agencies during the past three years.