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Two opposition parties to propose recall of president

2012/05/14 18:18:37

Taipei, May 14 (CNA) The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its ally, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), said Monday that they will initiate a proposal to recall President Ma Ying-jeou.

The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) immediately responded that the move is a political ploy and an abuse of legislative procedure.

The two opposition parties said their proposal would be submitted later in the day and should be dealt with by the Legislature's Procedure Committee the following day.

"Under the Constitution, the threshold for recalling a president is very high. This protective umbrella given to a re-elected president allows him to do whatever he wants, which is detrimental to the nation," said Ker Chien-ming, a DPP legislative caucus whip.

Ma won the presidency convincingly in 2008, gathering 58.45 percent of the votes, but his public opinion poll results have recently fallen to only 15 percent, Ker said.

"The proposal is aimed at sending a serious warning to President Ma that his first term ends with a recall. It will also let future generations know that this was the common will of the people and it will remain on the record of the Legislature," Ker said.

According to Hsu Chung-hsin, a TSU caucus whip, Ma has deviated from the public will and it is "very right to propose a recall."

The TSU caucus said it will also propose an amendment to the Presidential and Vice Presidential Election and Recall Act, Hsu went on, noting that under current regulations, a president who has spent less than a year in office cannot be recalled.

The TSU will propose that this should not apply to a president who is re-elected. According to the party, this would avoid a situation like the one in which Ma has raised the price of fuel and electricity and has contributed to Taiwan's economic decline, yet is safe from the threat of recall.

If the recall initiative fails to pass before the end of Ma's current term, the party will again propose a recall after one year of his second term, Hsu said.

Wu Yu-sheng, a KMT caucus whip, said the joint proposal by the DPP and the TSU is aimed at destabilizing the political situation for their selfish ends. He noted that there are only a few days left before the end of Ma's first term on May 20 and that the current legislative session will also end in less than one month.

"The KMT regrets the deliberate troublemaking of the two parties, and the KMT caucus will also make its stance clear at the Procedure Committee meeting Tuesday in a responsible way," he said.

Lee Tung-hao, a caucus whip of the People First Party (PFP), said that it did not co-sign the proposal, saying that as Ma's first term will soon end, it has no substantive significance.

The party said that instead, it will rigorously monitor the Ma administration's second term, adding that if the president and the premier continue to act dogmatically in deviation from the public will, the PFP will endeavor to recall the president and topple the premier.

Under the Constitution, an initiative to recall the president and vice president needs to be proposed by 25 percent of the legislators and agreed to by 66 percent of them.

A valid proposal can only be passed if over half of the eligible voters cast their ballots and more than half of them support it.

(By Tseng Ying-yu, Chen Wei-ting and Lilian Wu)
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