"It is time to take action" says DPP Chair Su Tseng-chang

The following are remarks made by DPP Chair Su Tseng-chang at an international press conference on Sept. 30:

"Today, we are holding this press conference with the utmost of seriousness and solemnity.
"Over the decades, the Taiwanese people went through the White Terror Era, in which they had to endure military and police suppression. Step by step, through peaceful means, the people broke through Martial Law and one-party autocracy. They opened the doors to democracy, allowing the universal values of freedom, democracy and human rights to become part of Taiwan and receiving the affirmation of the international community. However, these hard-worn democratic assets are now facing the greatest threat.
"From the current information that has surfaced so far, President Ma and the executive branch has already conducted unconstitutional and illegal actions that are even more serious than the US’ Watergate Scandal. It is right to call this time’s incident: “Congressgate”.
"The truth has yet to surface, but what we are certain of is this: 

1.      The Special Investigation Division (SID) has for a long time been illegally wiretapping the Legislative Yuan, illegally publicizing the wiretapping transcripts. This action not only violates the original purpose of instituting the SID, but it also violates regulations stipulated in the Communication Security and Surveillance Act. Furthermore, these actions show an inconsistence in the constitutional principle of the three separations of powers.

2.      Instead of abiding by his constitutional responsibility, the Premier has assisted in the internal power struggle of the political party and has criticized the legitimacy of the legislative speaker. The evidence is clear, and this is a serious insult to the power of supervision as well as to congressional independence.
3.      The President took the initiative to meet with SID’s prosecutor-general to discuss the investigation of judicial cases. This is a clear evidence of presidential interference into the judiciary and a violation of the constitutional order.
4.      The President employed the recordings of illegal wiretapping to force the legislative speaker out of his position. The President violated the constitutional power of supervision, and in addition, the separation between the roles of political party and government. More seriously, the President violated the power granted to congress and breached the spirit of the power separation.

"If the constitution is not being followed, the continuous existence of our democracy, freedom, and human rights will be in serious jeopardy. Democracy, freedom and human rights not only constitute the core values of the DPP, but also its long-term goals. Our stance is clear: it is time to take action.
"In regards to the illegal wiretappings, we propose to abolish the SID immediately. We also propose to establish a fact-finding committee to determine the truth behind this scandal and to identify the responsible parties involved. The committee will investigate what roles the President, the Premier, and the Prosecutor-General played. As the Prosecutor-General and SID members have already admitted to wrongdoing in performing the wiretappings, we believe that they should be relieved of their duties for investigation immediately to prevent them from tampering with important evidence.
"It is now clear that the President together with the Premier violated the constitution due to party struggle within the KMT. Public opinion clearly demonstrates a serious distrust and disproval of the President and the Premier’s recent actions. We ask that President Ma take responsibility of this scandal and to resign his post immediately. If the President is unwilling to take responsibility of his own actions, we will take appropriate constitutional moves to stop the administration from further violating the constitution. The possible options include: the impeachment or recall campaign against President Ma and the dismissal of the whole cabinet. We will be taking actions soon.
"KMT political members should take immediate note of the serious consequences of President Ma’s unconstitutional acts. As a result of this scandal, Taiwan is now experiencing an unacceptable degree of political chaos and social instability. The people clearly object what the administration is doing these days. If the KMT still tries to protect the President against the will of the Taiwanese people, there is no doubt that they will be punished by the Taiwanese voters for their irresponsible actions.
"Democracy is Taiwan’s most precious asset. It represents the hard-earned achievements made by the Taiwanese people over decades by breaking through the barriers of Martial Law and choosing this way as a method of life. We can’t allow any individual or a political party destroy this. We must never let this happen and we must gather the power of civic society to persist in protecting Taiwan’s democracy!"