DPP Makes History: All 27 Control Yuan Nominees Confirmed in Controversy
China Times, July 18, 2020
The Legislative Yuan on July 17 proceeded the consent voting for the nominees of 27 new Control Yuan members. Chen Chu, former secretary-general to the President, after several violent confrontations between ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) , secured her post as president of the Control Yuan. All the other 26 nominees were also passed. It was the very first time since the Control Yuan members were constituted by president’s nomination with the consent of the Legislative Yuan. Although it was an all-pass nomination, it is also the most controversial one.
New members are to resume their duties from August 1. President Tsai Ing-wen is now substantially and entirely controlling all five branches of the nation: the Executive, Legislative, Examination, Judicial, and Control Yuan. She is fully and totally in power.
As the 5th Control Yuan members’ tenure approaching, President Tsai in June brought out her new 27-member list, among which Chen and former Taitung County Magistrate Justin Huang were nominated as president and vice president of the Control Yuan. However, Huang withdrew from the list due to stormy criticism from both ruling party and opposition. Another nominee Chen Shen-hsien, former deputy mayor of New Taipei, opt out of the confirmation process.
Shortly after the list sent to Legislature Yuan to review, the Opposition noticed that out of 27 nominees, 24 are with ruling party affiliation, in which some were with records of interfering judicial cases, especially Chen Chu. Therefore, the opposition KMT strongly boycotted this nomination and determined to block the voting. During the review period, KMT legislators tried to occupy the floor, pause the agenda and so on. Yet two days ago the ruling DPP legislators aggressively cleared the floor, and started the voting yesterday.
Under the pressure of ruling party’s mobilization, the Legislative Yuan yesterday was all in confrontations in and out. Outside the Legislative Yuan, there was a standoff between several hundred policemen and about one thousand protesters organized by private and civic groups. Some protesters were arrested when climbing over barbed wires to enter the Legislature Yuan. Inside the parliament, the KMT Caucus requested to pause the voting with the rationale that the voting proposed by DPP two days ago to stop the review process was invalid because the DPP Legislator Chen Ying was not at the site yet the record shows that she has casted her ballot. It was cheating, a so-called “alibi voting”. Therefore, the KMT requested a halt to the vote of consent.
KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang, party whip Lin Wei-chou, and other party legislators stood firm at the Assembly Hall and blasted Speaker Yu for violation of neutrality: “shame on you,” “international scandal,” and “if you treat us as plastic, we won’t see you as President”.
The KMT legislators who were refused to vote at first, at the last 10 minutes before the end of voting, suddenly joined the line to take the ballots. DPP legislators doubted that KMT legislators may spill the ink on the ballots already casted (that will make them invalid votes), then Speaker Yu immediately designate at the south area to set up one more voting booth. KMT legislators went on scolding, but most of them did not vote.
When the voting ended, Speaker Yu announced to start the counting of ballots. KMT legislators took out their prepared water-balls and throw them to the chair podium and calculating desk. It was just like a heavy rain inside the Assembly Hall, yet DPP legislators were all prepared with raincoats and holding boards to protect the calculating process. The KMT’s attempt failed.
The final counting: in total 93 ballots been taken; Chen Chu received 65 consent votes, three no consent votes, and two invalid votes. All the other 26 nominees gained more than half consent votes. It was an all-pass home-run victory. Compared with nominees during the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou, four nominees in 2008 and 11 in 2014 were turned down. Yesterday’s “all passed” nomination was a triumphant for President Tsai, and a realization of her iron will.
President Tsai yesterday commented on the result that “During this time, there have been many untrue allegations against Chen, and due to the KMT’s boycott, all the nominees have failed to get chance to clarify themselves in the parliament, which is quite regretful.”
Chen stated that “All disputes will subside, but the Control Yuan will become more transparent and more accountable. I will do my best to ensure a smooth transition of the Control Yuan, and let the institution continue to operate as a national human rights body.”