Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-10-04 03:44 PM
Despite repeated demands by the opposition, Jiang has refused to apologize for influence-peddling allegations against Wang and Democratic Progressive Party chief legislative whip Ker Chien-ming. Jiang was questioned by prosecutors as a witness Thursday evening about his meeting with President Ma Ying-jeou on August 31 to discuss the case.
After his latest attempt to read his government report to the latest legislative session, Jiang used a recess during the afternoon to pay Wang a visit, the first face-to-face meeting between the two senior Kuomintang members since the influence-peddling allegations became public on September 6.
Jiang’s remarks that “the Cabinet should be preparing for a Legislative Yuan without Wang” were widely interpreted as a slight to the legislative speaker. The premier said Friday’s meeting had allowed him to clear up misunderstandings and to tell Wang the truth behind false accusations about his statements.
Jiang concluded by voicing the hope that Executive Yuan and Legislative Yuan could join hands to work on improving the economy and on returning the country to political stability.
When the premier entered the Legislative Yuan Friday morning, DPP lawmakers welcomed him with shouts of protest, saying he was not even qualified to be present at the building, let alone present his report.
The premier traditionally reads the document on the first day of the new legislative session, which was September 17, but Friday marked his fifth failed attempt to do so.
Jiang did not respond to the protesting lawmakers, but sat down and made phone calls, reports said. He also reportedly spoke for five minutes with Justice Minister Luo Ying-shay. She later denied a possible conflict of interest over the fact that she was the superior of the prosecutors who interviewed Jiang about the Wang case Thursday evening.
As the legislative speaker saw no progress was likely, he called for a pause and for further negotiations between the caucuses. Jiang and the members of his Cabinet left the assembly after 2:30 p.m., with a return possible if an agreement was reached later in the afternoon, reports said.
Ruling Kuomintang lawmaker Chi Kuo-tung said that if Jiang was still unable to present his report by the end of Friday, he would return his NT$6,300 (US$214) salary for the day.
DPP legislator Yeh Yi-jin said her proposal for a motion of no confidence against the Jiang Cabinet was only three signatures short of being proposed. After its official proposal, the motion needs to win an absolute majority of lawmakers. The Cabinet should then step down and the Legislative Yuan can be dissolved to make way for early elections.
The DPP has advocated an eventual no-confidence motion as one of several methods to raise the pressure on the government. Recalling or impeaching the president were two other measures under evaluation by the opposition.