Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-09-14 03:44 PM
Su presented his initiative at the closing ceremony for a series of seminars looking back at the party’s years in power from 2000 to 2008.
Because of Ma’s low standings in the opinion polls, Su spent Friday discussing a course of action with his advisers, reports said. The group considered mass street protests, impeachment by the Legislative Yuan and a recall, according to local media.
“If we want to take immediate constitutional action against the president personally, then we think it’s best in the present phase to launch an impeachment at the Legislative Yuan,” Su said.
The opposition leader said that Ma had become unfit to govern because of his low popularity and because of his repeated inability to provide competent government.
Su said his party was choosing impeachment as a way to pressure Ma because it was the Legislative Yuan’s responsibility to supervise the president and to take active measures against his infringement of legislative rights.
He also pointed out that according to the Constitution, impeachment is the normal way to counter illegal behavior by the president.
At least half of all 113 lawmakers need to sign up to propose an impeachment, and two thirds had to vote in favor before the request would be passed on to the Council of Grand Justices for consideration. The legislative vote would be anonymous, so party discipline and pressure from Ma would not play a role, Su said. The president would also be invited to present his case against impeachment at the Legislative Yuan.
As a constitutional court, the Council of Grand Justices would rule on whether the president violated the Constitution. If the decision was positive, Ma would be forced to relinquish his office immediately, Su said.
The opposition leader said that if he thought he had not violated the Constitution, the president should refrain from ordering ruling Kuomintang lawmakers from blocking the impeachment motion. Su also called on Wang to help the measure pass. Even though the speaker considered himself to be a faithful KMT member, he should still put the autonomy of the Legislative Yuan above party interests.
The public would not allow the rule of law and the achievements of democratic change to be endangered by threats against the constitutional order, according to Su.
The DPP legislative caucus would present the impeachment proposal as soon as the Legislative Yuan opened its next session next Tuesday, reports said. Since the opposition party only counted 40 seats, with six seats for minor parties, it would need the support of at least 20 KMT lawmakers to present the impeachment motion.
Former Vice President Annette Lu was pushing for a recall of the president by the public, which some DPP leaders reportedly opposed because it might increase social conflict. An impeachment by lawmakers registered more chances of success, commentators said, while it would cause less confrontation and social disruption.
Lu was planning to present her recall campaign next Monday, describing it as an action which could be joined in by all citizens regardless of their political affiliation.
The DPP has accused Ma of abusing his powers by mobilizing prosecutors to tap the legislative speaker’s phone and to push him out of the ruling Kuomintang without giving him a chance to defend himself and before any charges were brought by prosecutors.
The Supreme Prosecutors Office Special Investigation Division accused Wang of illegally lobbying the Ministry of Justice to have prosecutors refrain from appealing a not-guilty verdict in a breach-of-trust case against top DPP lawmaker Ker Chien-ming.
DPP legislator Chen Chi-mai was planning to demand the formation of a special legislative investigation committee to look into illegal phonetapping against Wang and to request Ma’s presence as a witness.
Su would chair a DPP legislative caucus meeting Monday to discuss the opposition’s priorities for the new session. While the parties agreed verbally to allow Premier Jiang Yi-huah to present his government report Tuesday, no final agreement had yet been signed, so the DPP could still decide otherwise, media reports said.