Sept. 14 - DPP Chair Su Tseng-chang calls for impeachment proceedings against President Ma Ying-jeou

DPP Chair Su Tseng-chang made remarks in a conference organized by the DPP on Sept. 14. Below are his comments in response to the country’s current constitutional crisis:

“It’s been five years since President Ma has taken over the administration of this nation. As our nation’s leader, he should be responsible for relieving the sufferings of the Taiwanese people, but he has been incapable of resolving our national problem. He himself has incited the political chaos this time, and not only was his behavior abrasive, it was done without regard for the consequences. President Ma has denied the discipline and process of the law, and he has disrespected our constitutional democracy. Illegal wiretapping is a very serious encroachment on human rights. Our president has damaged constitutional politics, replacing it with political disorder, going beyond the powers delegated to him by the Constitution, and interfering into the judicial investigation of this one case concerning Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng. He has also meddled into legislative affairs, which is a clear violation of the structure of the three divisions of power granted by the Constitution. By thinking the Legislative and Judicial Yuans are under his feet, the president believes he is the sole leader and decision-maker, and this has caused the current political chaos, which has led the country to instability. This has also led Taiwan to now face the most serious constitutional crisis to date, bringing about the biggest threat to our democracy.

“In order to defend our democracy, we must remedy this current constitutional crisis and to prevent the president from taking any future actions that violate the law and surpass his given powers. These include the following proposals that we must, as a whole, consider: calling for a constitutional interpretation, a cabinet resignation and then, start impeachment proceedings on the president. We strongly believe that the start of the impeachment process should be started for the following four reasons:

“First, according to the division of powers granted by the Constitution, the legislative body is the supervisory body over the president. In regards to the president taking actions that encroaches on legislative power, the Legislative Yuan must actively take concrete actions in order to defend the dignity of this body and to uphold the right of constitutional law;

“Second, the current regulations grant the power of impeachment by the legislature as a means to stop the president from breaking the law. Since the actions by President Ma this time has encroached on constitutional order, we must initiate impeachment proceedings to show our opposition to his actions.

“Thirdly, according to the Act Over the Authority to Exercise Powers (職權行使法), in order to impeach a president, it is required for fifty percent of the legislators’ approval to make a draft proposal to be submitted to the procedural committee for agenda lining without deliberation. Once it reaches the examination committee, the committee must ask the president to present an explanation, and the president must face the legislative body, which clearly shows that the legislature plays the supervisory role of the constitution instead of the president trampling on the legislative powers;

“Fourth, since the impeachment proceedings allow for the deliberation to remain anonymous, it prevents President Ma from intimidating members of the Legislative Yuan, allowing for the legislative body to remain autonomous.

“We would like to appeal to President Ma, that once impeachment proceedings start, he must openly receive the supervision of the Legislative Yuan. If he believes that he has not violated any law, then he should refrain from meddling into the legislature, and he should also not ask the KMT’s legislative caucus to obstruct the impeachment process.

“I would also like to appeal to Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng to allow the successful passage of the impeachment proceedings, and even though he is a loyal member of the KMT, as the legislative speaker, it is more important to protect the dignity of the legislative body over the rights of party members.

“Lastly, I appeal to all members of the Legislative Yuan regardless of political party affiliation to place their respect to the legislative body above those of party interests. Let’s all support the impeachment proceedings so that President Ma can receive the supervision of the Legislative Yuan and so that our constitutional crisis is resolved through constitutional law, or otherwise, with just the deliberation of the KMT’s examination committee, they can simply pull out the legislative speaker of their own will. Thank You.”