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No-confidence vote against premier to be held Saturday

2012/09/18 17:03:27

Taipei, Sept. 18 (CNA) The Legislature will vote Saturday on a no-confidence motion brought by the main opposition party against Premier Sean Chen, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said Tuesday.

Legislator Ker Chien-ming of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led the no-confidence motion by 43 lawmakers earlier in the day, after the Legislative Yuan opened for its second session of the year, Wang said.

After discussion of the issue by the legislative party caucuses, it was decided that a plenary session will be held Friday to debate the motion and it will be put to a vote the next day, Wang said.

Only when the motion is defeated, will the Legislature set a date for the premier to deliver an administrative report to lawmakers, he added.

In response, Chen said "Taiwan is a country ruled by law so things must be allowed to proceed based on the law."

But Kuomintang (KMT) caucus whip Wu Yu-sheng said the last thing Taiwan needs now is political unrest. The country is already in a dire economic situation, with its people unhappy and government morale at a low, he said.

Wu said the KMT legislative caucus regrets the DPP's insistence on bringing a no-confidence motion against Chen despite the fact that there is no chance it will be carried.

The KMT, which holds 64 of the legislature's 113 seats, will not support the motion, he stressed. The KMT has directed all of its lawmakers to vote against the DPP motion and if any of them buck the party line or cast an invalid vote, they will be disciplined, Wu said.

Although the whole world is experiencing an economic slowdown, no other country is trying to fix the problem by toppling their Cabinet, Wu said.

On its list of 10 reasons for moving the no-confidence motion, the DPP caucus said Chen's Cabinet has led Taiwan into economic straits.

While the Cabinet has proposed policies meant to bring about "peace of mind," it has raised fuel and electricity prices, triggering higher commodity prices, the DPP caucus said.

Furthermore, the Cabinet is leading the country in a direction that makes it more and more reliant on Chinese capital and the Cabinet has no plans to protect local industries, the caucus said.

DPP caucus whip Pan Men-an, said that while Hong Kongers are taking to the streets to protest against "brainwashing" by the China regime, Taiwanese have to fight against "a brainless government."

Legislator Huang Wen-ling of the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), which holds three seats in the legislature, said her party fully supports the DPP no-confidence motion.

Furthermore, she said, Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang, Minister of Economic Planning and Development Yiin Chii-ming and Labor Minister Wang Ju-hsuan are incompetent and must step down.

If the no-confidence vote motion fails and those three ministers are not removed, the TSU caucus will do whatever it can to boycott Chen's administrative report to the legislature, she said.

People First Party (PFP) Legislator Lee Tung-hao said his party, which also holds three seats, will not support the no-confidence motion because it is not the right time to do so.

He said the PFP caucus will decide whether to take part in Saturday's vote.

The DPP's motion is unlikely to pass because it holds 40 seats in the legislature and even with the full support of the TSU, it is unlikely to gain the 57 votes needed for the motion to succeed.

Under the Constitution, three days after a no-confidence vote motion is proposed, lawmakers have 48 hours to vote on it by means of open balloting.

If more than half of the lawmakers vote in favor of the no-confidence motion, the premier would be required to resign within 10 days or ask the president to dissolve the Legislature.

If the no-confidence motion fails, lawmakers must wait another full year before they can bring another motion against the same premier.

(By Ho Meng-kuei and Elizabeth Hsu)
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