Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-07-04 03:11 PM
Lawmakers were due to vote on the presidential nominees for president, vice president and 27 other members of the nation’s top watchdog Friday, the final day of a special summer session, but dissatisfaction with the list from opposition ranks sank the plan. The ruling Kuomintang caucus said later it wanted to reschedule the vote for an eventual second special legislative session to begin later this month.
As lawmakers prepared to line up Friday morning to pick up their ballots for the Control Yuan vote, legislators for the Democratic Progressive Party stood in front but refused to take the documents while also preventing their KMT colleagues from moving forward. The DPP said the ruling party should drop threats of disciplinary measures against members who did not vote in favor of the presidential nominees.
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng called a recess after he was unable to persuade DPP lawmakers from giving up their boycott. KMT legislator Alex Fai said the Legislative Yuan should continue its special session until the Control Yuan list had been approved.
President Ma Ying-jeou had nominated Central Election Commission Chairwoman Chang Po-ya, a former independent mayor of Chiayi City and former interior minister, as president of the Control Yuan. Sun Ta-chuan, a former minister of the Indigenous Affairs Council, was Ma’s nominee for vice president of the government watchdog.
One of the key reasons for Chang and some other nominees to face a difficult time during the legislative review process was their alleged role during last year’s power struggle between Ma and Wang. Some critics, including KMT lawmakers, reportedly blamed Chang for choosing Ma’s side in the dispute, despite her strong denials.
The special legislative session ended with few achievements, as other government proposals such as the trade-in-services pact with China, a bill to monitor trade talks with the communist country and the Free Economic Pilot Zones failed to make progress due to DPP opposition.
Discussing the possibility of a second special session this summer, Fai suggested July 21 as the opening date, but his colleague Wu Yu-sheng mentioned July 28 and August 8 as dates for the beginning and ending. Three weeks of discussions and votes might be too long, Wu told reporters.
The Legislative Yuan is usually scheduled to resume its normal work in September.
The Presidential Office said it regretted the opposition boycott of the Control Yuan vote, while the KMT accused the DPP and the smaller Taiwan Solidarity Union of violating the Constitution. According to constitutional rules, a new Control Yuan has to be sworn in by August 1. It was the 46th time that the main opposition party occupied the podium or prevented a legislative meeting from proceeding normally, a KMT spokesman said.