KMT calls on Premier Su to step down after his row with lawmaker

10/13/2021 10:43 PM
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KMT Legislator Cheng Li-wun (left) and party caucus whip Fai Hrong-tai call for an apology from Premier Su Tseng-chang. CNA photo Oct. 13, 2021
KMT Legislator Cheng Li-wun (left) and party caucus whip Fai Hrong-tai call for an apology from Premier Su Tseng-chang. CNA photo Oct. 13, 2021

Taipei, Oct. 13 (CNA) The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) said Wednesday that Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) should resign, in the wake of his verbal altercation with a KMT lawmaker the previous day.

KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) said Su's reference to a female opposition legislator as "shameless" was a display of rudeness and an insult to all women in the country.

Su should apologize to KMT Legislator Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) and resign to take responsibility for his behavior, Chu said.

The issue stemmed from an exchange between Cheng and Su during a legislative hearing Tuesday, after the premier declined to give a direct response to the lawmaker's question on whether the government planned to develop nuclear submarines to bolster Taiwan's defense capabilities.

"I'm afraid you will be the first, and (President) Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will be the second," to surrender to China in the event of a war, given the severe military imbalance across the Taiwan Strait, Cheng said.

In response, a visibly furious Su said, "We will not be as shameless as you guys."

Cheng then stepped up to the podium, demanding an apology from Su, and the Legislature soon descended into chaos.

At a ceremony Wednesday to present certificates to KMT legislative caucus leaders, KMT Chairman Chu said Cheng had been performing her duties as a legislator and had posed a pertinent question.

The premier's response was unacceptable to the people of Taiwan, and his behavior had not only harmed the dignity of the Legislature, but also constituted an insult to all women in the country, said Chu, who was recently elected leader of his party.

Su, therefore, should apologize and resign, Chu said, adding that President Tsai should speak on the matter and condemn the premier's comments.

Tsai, who is chairwoman of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said later in a DPP central standing committee meeting that Taiwan is currently facing multiple challenges, and it not helpful if "we go finding enemies in our own country."

The expression of diverse views and suggestions on various policies is the essence of democratic politics, and it also provides checks and balances, Tsai said.

Su, meanwhile, said he felt it was his responsibility to give clarification and restore order, after a lawmaker made the comment that the country's president, who is the commander in chief of Taiwan's armed forces and is duty-bound to protect national security, will surrender to China.

"I did what I had to do," Su said, adding that the lawmaker's comment about the president could seriously hurt the Taiwan people's morale.The KMT should offer an apology over Cheng's comments, Su said.

(By Wang Cheng-chung, Wang Yang-yu and Evelyn Kao)

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