The time may have come to abolish the Control Yuan
The China Post news staffIt is time that the Control Yuan should be abolished. Even its head, Wang Chien-shien, thinks so, after the highest government watchdog failed to impeach Keelung's mayor despite the fact that he has been convicted of an impeachable crime.
August 16, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
In tandem with the government's downsizing moves, there has been frequent talk about abolishing the dysfunctional Control Yuan and transferring its power to the Legislature.
But the integrity of the five-mandate government structure as stipulated in the R.O.C. Constitution has often been cited to stifle any attempts to introduce reforms.
The design of such a government, the power of which is divided among five institutions — the Executive Yuan (administration), the Legislative Yuan (lawmaking), the Judicial Yuan (judicial affairs), the Examination Yuan (civil services) and the Control Yuan (ombudsmen) — was the original idea of the republic's founding father, Dr. Sun Yat-sen.
Such a design has been around ever since the republic was born more than a century ago, but that does not mean it is untouchable.
The constitution has been amended several times, and one of the biggest changes was the abolition of the National Assembly — an electoral college that chose the president — when direct presidential election was implemented in the 1990s.
Whether a five-mandate government has its merits is debatable, but in reality one of the limbs of this unique institution of Taiwan has been paralyzed.
No one seems to remember when the highest watchdog body last took on a major case impeaching or punishing rogue government officials. Maybe it has not for more than a decade.
The incumbent head of the Control Yuan, Wang, cited his predecessor Fredrick Chien as lamenting failed leadership when he was about to retire in 2005. Chien said his stint at the Control Yuan had been the most frustrating during his years of career heading different government bodies.
Chien said he had nothing to defend himself with in the face of criticism that the Control Yuan had done nothing under his six-year leadership.
Wang feels the same after the Control Yuan's second attempt to impeach Keelung Mayor Chang Tung-jung failed again on Tuesday.
When the first attempt failed, some thought it might have been only a glitch. But the latest outcome shows that the Control Yuan is utterly a lame duck that does not dare to touch such a rogue mayor, who has been convicted of interfering with police authorities and given a 20-month suspended prison term.