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KMT vows to step up anti-corruption efforts with law revisions

05/28/2024 11:59 PM
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KMT lawmakers. CNA photo May 28, 2024
KMT lawmakers. CNA photo May 28, 2024

Taipei, May 28 (CNA) The main opposition Kuomintang (KMT) on Tuesday pledged to strengthen its anti-corruption efforts after lawmakers passed the third reading of amendments to the Law Governing the Legislature's Power.

The party and the smaller Taiwan People's Party (TPP) will create an "opposition counterpart to the Special Investigation Division" to crack down on corruption, according to KMT caucus whip Fu Kun-chi (傅崐萁) at a press conference.

Under the amendments passed, the Legislature will have the power to conduct investigations and hold hearings, which includes fining public officials and related individuals if they refuse to attend or provide information.

● Taiwan lawmakers have passed contentious reform bills. Now what?

Update: Cabinet to have Legislature reconsider 'unconstitutional' amendments (June 6)

Legal persons, associations, and related individuals who refuse to provide, delay in providing, or conceal related information when asked can be fined between NT$10,000-NT$100,000 (US$310-US$3,100) if approved by a legislative resolution.

If statements provided by related individuals asked to provide testimony are found to be false, the individuals can be fined between NT$20,000 and NT$200,000 with the approval of the Legislature.

Public officials or civil servants whose testimony is found to be false will be sent to the Control Yuan for corrective discipline or impeachment and bear criminal responsibility.

Meanwhile, TPP caucus convener Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) said that following the legislative reform, his party will next advocate for the abolition of the Control Yuan, which he said has completely lost the public's trust as one of the five branches of government.

Taiwan People's Party lawmakers and caucus convener Huang Kuo-chang (center). CNA photo May 28, 2024
Taiwan People's Party lawmakers and caucus convener Huang Kuo-chang (center). CNA photo May 28, 2024

In response to the passage of the amendments, the Control Yuan issued a statement stressing that investigative powers are exclusively exercised by the Control Yuan under the Constitution and the expansion of the Legislature's powers violates the separation of powers.

The Control Yuan therefore cannot accept the decision, it said, urging the public to take the issue seriously.

Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘), caucus whip of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), reiterated on Tuesday that his party will definitely seek a constitutional interpretation of the reform bills that cleared the legislative floor earlier in the day.

Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming. CNA photo May 28, 2024
Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming. CNA photo May 28, 2024

Ker has said that the DPP will seek a constitutional interpretation on two issues: the constitutionality of the amendments and the legislative procedures used to handle the revisions, including the way the votes were counted.

The DPP will comply with all legal requirements and procedures necessary for the constitutional interpretation, which will not occur until after the president promulgates the bill, Ker said Tuesday.

(By Lin Ching-yin, Chen Chun-hua, Fan Cheng-hsiang and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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