Taiwan's premier defends Cabinet ahead of poll

TAIPEI - Premier Jiang Yi-huah held a press conference yesterday morning to defend himself amidst today's no-confidence vote in the Legislative Yuan.

This is the first time in Taiwan's history that a premier has held a presser with all Cabinet officials in attendance to defend the Executive Yuan against a no-confidence vote.

The Cabinet officials who accompanied Jiang included Interior Minister Lee Hong-yuan, Defense Minister Yen Ming, Foreign Minister David Lin and Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai.

"I respect the Legislative Yuan's right to propose a no-confidence motion against the Cabinet, however, I do not accept the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) accusations against me," Jiang said.

Jiang noted that the DPP singled him out for violating the R.O.C. Constitution and making inappropriate comments in regard to the controversial influence-peddling case involving Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng and DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming.

Jiang reiterated that he never said the Executive Yuan is ready for a "Legislature without Wang," explaining that he was merely pointing out that the Cabinet has to be ready for any outcome at the Legislature.

Policy Report Based on Constitution

"The Legislative Yuan invited me six times to deliver a policy report, and I was blocked by the opposition from doing so each time," Jiang said, noting that according to the Constitution, the premier is obliged to give his address at the Legislature, while lawmakers are entitled to supervise the Cabinet through interpellation.

The Cabinet has been acting in accordance with the Constitution; on the other hand, opposition lawmakers gave up their rights to interpellate the Executive Yuan, the premier said.

"(As to) whether or not (the Cabinet) has disobeyed the Constitution, I believe (the public) knows the answer," Jiang added.

The premier noted that if the Legislative Yuan fails to pass the no-confidence motion today, the Executive Yuan will retain its mandate to resume administrative work.

When asked what he would do if the DPP still insists that he apologize even if the motion fails, Jiang expressed the hope that opposition lawmakers can supervise the Cabinet in a rational manner.

Cabinet to Work with Judicial Yuan over Wiretapping

The premier reiterated that the Cabinet respects the results of the Ministry of Justice's (MOJ) investigation into the Legislature wiretapping case, adding that it also supports the MOJ's decision to transfer the case to the disciplinary committee.

Given that the public still has doubts about wiretapping operations, the Executive Yuan will work with the Judicial Yuan to review the current procedures, Jiang said.

"A democratic country has zero tolerance for all illegal monitoring operations," Jiang added.

Jiang Urges Legislature to Pass Service Trade Pact

The premier went on to say that the Legislative Yuan has been delaying its examination of the cross-trait service trade pact for more than three months

The trade agreement has more advantages than disadvantages, and it should be processed as soon as possible, Jiang stressed.

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