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Home Editorials of Interest Taipei Times Control Yuan vote another hit to Ma

Control Yuan vote another hit to Ma

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The legislature on Tuesday voted on President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) nominations for members of the Control Yuan during its second extraordinary session this summer.

While Chang Po-ya (張博雅) and Sun Ta-chuan’s (孫大川) nominations for the positions of president and vice president respectively were approved, along with 16 of the 27 remaining members, 11 of Ma’s nominations were rejected. Although the Control Yuan can continue to operate until the current term expires today, the outcome of the decisions will have a major impact on Ma and on the operations of the next Control Yuan.

There were early signs of this massive rejection. At the first review during the legislature’s first extraordinary session earlier this summer, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators engaged in a silent protest against the Presidential Office and the nominees by letting the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) get away with an easy blockade of the review. However, the Presidential Office ignored the protest, and Ma and the KMT did not listen to public calls for strict assessment of the nominees’ qualifications. Losing 11 of the nominees is a big setback, and Ma’s prestige as a leader has once again suffered a heavy blow.

The president has repeatedly insisted that the standard for deciding whether to approve a nominee should be based solely on whether the candidate meets the necessary conditions required for the position. Although KMT legislators at an early stage expressed concerns over some of the nominees’ qualifications, Ma insisted that the party line should take precedence over individual legislators’ wishes as well as public opinion, saying that a decision on whether to support specific nominees should not be determined by rumor or personal opinions.

During the DPP’s time in government, the list of Control Yuan candidates nominated by then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was blocked in the legislature by the KMT-led pan-blue camp for three years. In the end, the KMT claimed that Chen had lost legitimacy because of his low approval rating, and that it was best for the country that the Control Yuan cease operations. Despite that, KMT hopefuls continue their efforts to be nominated for Control Yuan positions.

Ma’s approval rating is half of what Chen’s was. Not only does he lack any legitimacy, even the nominations for Control Yuan president and the vice president were strongly questioned. As the public continues to challenge the institution’s existence, outgoing Control Yuan President Wang Chien-hsien (王建煊) has been telling the press that the list of nominees is packed with henchlings, stooges and vote captains who have been nominated as thanks for services rendered, because they fawn on Ma or because of election concerns.

Given the lack of legitimacy and the unreasonable composition of the list of nominees, it was only to be expected that Ma’s private lobbying and attempts to order KMT legislators around, demanding that they pass the whole list, would fail miserably.

The president does not consider his faults and mistakes. He bulldozes over public opinion and shifts blame to the DPP. A press release from the party continued to blame the DPP for its “vicious” blockade of the vote.

From the service trade agreement through the Sunflower movement to the current debacle over Control Yuan nominations, Ma’s prestige as a leader has taken some severe beatings. Not only has he hurt his own credibility, he has also jeopardized the future of the Control Yuan and the country.

Source: Taipei Times - Editorials 2014/07/31

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