Politicians not safe from impeachment: watchdog
By Katherine Wei, The China Post
July 10, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Rumors that publicly elected government officials are immune to impeachment are not true, Control Yuan Minister Wang Chien-shien (王建煊) said yesterday regarding the watchdog's controversial failure to impeach Keelung Mayor Chang Tong-rong (張通榮).
The subject of a pending impeachment case, Chang was let off the hook last week when the Control Yuan put his case up to a vote.
The Control Yuan is granted the power to impeach public servants and government officials, and the impeachment of magistrates and mayors are included in the R.O.C. Constitution, said Wang.
“There have been at least six cases of magistrates and mayors being impeached, including former Taichung Mayor Lin Po-jung (林柏榕); there should be no issue regarding the Control Yuan's power,” Wang stressed.
In response to public suggestions that whether an official be impeached should be decided by his or her electorate, Wang again cited the political leaders impeached in the past three years. He stressed that the punishment for the leaders after their impeachment were all issued after detailed discussion by the Control Yuan impeachment board, ensuring that the people are granted an alternative leader.
Chang, previously given the lowest satisfaction rating of all Taiwan's political leaders in an opinion poll, landed in an embarrassing controversy last year after he forced Keelung police to release a woman who was arrested for drunk-driving and assaulting an officer.
The mayor was suspended from his post for three months, but even afterward the scandals didn't stop.
Chang has since been accused of allowing one of his supporters to beat up then-Department of Health chief Hsu Ming-luen (許明倫) secretly in the mayor's office, allegedly leading to Hsu's application to retire early.
Control Yuan members Cheng Jen-hong (程仁宏) and Yang Mei-ling (楊美玲), who originally called for Chang's impeachment, said that they respect the watchdog's decision but declined to respond when asked if they will file a second attempt at impeachment.