Transparency urged for Control Yuan's impeachment votes
By Adam Tyrsett Kuo, The China PostControl Yuan member Cheng Jen-hung (程仁宏) said yesterday that impeachment cases should not be voted on with secret ballots, amid calls to reform the Control Yuan, which were prompted by its failure to impeach Keelung Mayor Chang Tung-rung (張通榮) twice.
September 6, 2013, 12:44 am TWN
Chang was sentenced to one year and eight months in prison, fined NT$2 million and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service by the Keelung District Court in July, after being found guilty of interfering with police affairs.
Despite evidence “clearly showing” Chang's guilt, members of the Control Yuan failed to pass an impeachment resolution against him prior to his conviction.
Another impeachment case was brought against Chang in August, but was later dropped for good after the case failed to pass the Control Yuan for the second time.
The Control Yuan yesterday held a meeting during which Louis Chao (趙榮耀) said that the nation's top watchdog needs to reflect on its role in this affair.
Chao made several proposals, such as giving officials considered for impeachment a chance to make statements at the Control Yuan.
Chao said that he had heard a case in which an official was impeached after being interviewed on only one occasion, and that there were questions about whether or not this constituted a violation of his basic rights.
Chao suggested giving officials a chance to make statements on their own behalf, so that the Control Yuan can hear arguments from both sides.
Cheng, on the other hand, said that ballots on impeachment cases should be made public.
A non-secret ballot system could be implemented in phases, starting with cases brought against high-level officials such as ministers and heads of local governments, Cheng said.
Given that even lawmakers cast non-secret ballots on important issues, Control Yuan members should do the same, Cheng added.
A non-secret ballot system would effectively allay concerns over “lobbying,” “external pressure” and “partisan affiliations,” allowing members to focus on nothing but the facts and evidence, Cheng explained.
According to Control Yuan regulations, if an impeachment case is dropped, information about the case cannot be made public, however, over the past five years, the media has been able to report extensively such cases, Cheng said, urging the Control Yuan to change its perspective on the issue.
If the relevant information can be released, not only will the names of those previously considered for impeachment be cleared, the public will also get a chance to scrutinize the Control Yuan's decisions, Cheng added.
A resolution was made during yesterday's meeting to set up a taskforce to deliberate upon Cheng's proposal.