KMT caucus chief resigns after Control Yuan debacle
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-07-30 03:45 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Top Kuomintang legislator Lin Hung-chih tendered his resignation as caucus chief whip Wednesday following the defeat of 11 presidential nominees for the Control Yuan.

Despite holding a secure absolute majority of the 112 seats at the Legislative Yuan, 11 out of 29 nominees for the Control Yuan were defeated, while Chang Po-ya, the nominee for president of the top government watchdog body, only scraped by with the lowest possible majority of 57 votes.

Only the body’s president, vice president and 16 other members will be present to be sworn in on August 1, but President Ma Ying-jeou has promised he would nominate 11 new candidates before the next regular session of the Legislative Yuan begins. He rejected a proposal from the opposition to leave the new nominations up to the next president, who takes office in May 2016, as unconstitutional.

Chang also called for replacements, because the Control Yuan needed at least 11 members to impeach officials, which would be difficult to do if the body counted only 16 members. The president and vice president of the Yuan usually don’t participate in impeachment votes.

Lin said that after the results of the vote became clear Tuesday evening, he had phoned Ma, who also serves as KMT chairman, and told him of his intention to resign to take responsibility for the outcome.

The New Taipei City lawmaker visited the KMT headquarters on Wednesday morning to hand over his letter of resignation to the party’s secretary-general, Tseng Yung-chuan, reports said.

The ruling party blamed the unprecedented number of defeats on recent derogatory remarks about the Control Yuan by its outgoing president, Wang Chien-shien. In media interviews, the outspoken former finance minister lashed out at the watchdog and its members, saying it could be abolished and he had regretted taking on the position in 2008.

Critics had described Ma’s list of nominees as the worst ever to be presented. Several nominees featured on the list only because of their past services on behalf of the KMT, the opposition said.

Some media commentators blamed the defeat on tensions within the KMT caucus still simmering in the aftermath of last September’s power struggle between Ma and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng. The commentators interpreted the Control Yuan vote as a form of revenge taken by Wang supporters against the president.

After allegations of influence peddling with the judiciary were leveled against the speaker, Ma lent his full support to efforts to remove him from the KMT and from the Legislative Yuan. The case is still working its way through the courts, but initial rulings favored Wang.

Chang visited the legislative speaker Wednesday morning, in her first public appearance since she was voted in with the smallest majority possible. She said the voting result was a consequence of the Legislative Yuan’s internal relations, and not of her own personality.

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