Taiwan’s Transitional Justice Commission chairman resigns

Taipei, Oct. 6 (CNA)-Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) on Saturday approved the resignation of Huang Huang-hsiung (黃煌雄), chairman of the Transitional Justice Commission (TJC) under the Executive Yuan, over controversial remarks made by the TJC’s vice head recently.

Cabinet spokeswoman Kolas Yotaka said Lai thanked Huang for his contribution to the government’s efforts in promoting transitional justice, but said the cabinet has not come up with a successor candidate.

Kolas said Huang had expressed to Lai several times his wish to resign in the wake of remarks made by TJC Vice Chairman Chang Tien-chin (張天欽) in an internal meeting in August about a mayoral candidate, which was widely criticized as politically motivated and inappropriate.

Chang had already resigned for saying at a TJC meeting on Aug. 24 that New Taipei City mayoral candidate Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) of the Kuomintang (KMT) party was “the worst example of transitional justice” and it was a pity his case had not been used for political mileage.

He was referring to Hou’s role as the leader of a police team that attempted to arrest Taiwan independence and democracy advocate Cheng Nan-jung (鄭南榕) in 1989, which led to Cheng’s self-immolation and his martyrdom by the local democracy movement.

In his resignation statement, Huang said his move was aimed at “resolving unnecessary standoff between the ruling and the opposition parties and promoting transitional justice with efforts from both sides.”

Chang’s case was a big blow to the newly-established TJC, not only raising doubts about the integrity of the committee, but also leading to a boycott at the Legislature, Huang said.

Due to the controversy, Kuomintang lawmakers had boycotted several times a policy report by the premier and paralyzed legislative proceedings since new legislative session opened on Sept. 21.