KMT lawmakers occupy Legislature, protest Control Yuan head nomination

KMT lawmakers and police officers. (Photo courtesy of CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) — Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) caucus members occupied the legislative speaker’s podium Sunday ahead of a general discussion set for the next day at the Legislative Yuan, calling on President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to withdraw the nomination of former Presidential Office Secretary-General Chen Chu (陳菊) to head the Control Yuan.

The Legislature is set to hold a general discussion on whether an extraordinary session should be held as scheduled from June 29 to July 22, following inter-party negotiations scheduled to start 8:30 a.m. Monday.

However, ahead of the meetings, more than 20 KMT legislators stormed into the Legislative Yuan Sunday, blocked entry to the main chamber with chairs and chains and spray painted the words: “no endorsement for political crony Control Yuan nominees,” in the chamber.

The spray painted “no endorsement for political crony Control Yuan nominees.” (Image from a KMT lawmaker’s video)

The KMT caucus issued a statement Sunday strongly criticizing Tsai’s nomination of Chen as the new head of the Control Yuan and its newly established National Human Rights Commission.

The KMT caucus noted that during Chen’s tenure as Kaohsiung mayor from 2006-2018, the Control Yuan launched 58 investigations into her administrative team, including 30 cases of corrective measures and three impeachments against the local government, actions that raise questions about Chen’s qualifications to lead the body.

In addition, of the 27 nominees for the Control Yuan, 24 are members of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party or have a close relationship with the party, according to the statement.

Noting that Chen announced she would resign from the DPP only after she was nominated to head the Control Yuan, the KMT caucus said such a nomination to head the nation’s top government watchdog is unacceptable.

The KMT caucus also said it does not support holding an extraordinary legislative session, while demanding Tsai should nominate someone else in Chen’s place, adding that party members will not leave the main chamber of the Legislative Yuan until the DPP government changes course.

Echoing the caucus, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said on his Facebook page that if Tsai does not withdraw her nomination of Chen, KMT lawmakers will not leave the chamber.

The DPP has long advocated for the abolition of the Control Yuan but is now trying to hastily force through Control Yuan nominations during an extraordinary legislative session, Chiang said, adding that many find it strange the DPP is suddenly attaching such importance to the Control Yuan.

Police officers and press at the entrance to the chamber. (Photo courtesy of CNA)
Some members of the public pass by the Legislature. (Photo courtesy of CNA)