I did not 'force' Tseng to resign: Premier Jiang
By Lauly Li, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday said he did not “force” former Justice Minister Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) to resign, noting that a government official should be ready to hold themselves to account at anytime.
September 13, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
The Cabinet spokesperson Cheng Li-wun (鄭麗文) said Jiang made a comment on the recent controversy of Tseng's alleged involvement in an illegal lobbying incident during the Executive Yuan's weekly meeting yesterday.
Jiang said last week that he had talked with Tseng twice over the alleged influence peddling, which allegedly involves Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), and Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘). He added that most of the time he was just listening to Tseng's explanation on the matter.
The premier said during their conversations, Tseng strongly denied the accusation about him being involved in the illegal lobbying and claimed that the Special Investigation Division's (SID) investigation on the incident contravened legal procedures.
Jiang said he told Tseng that the veracity of the legal allegations is distinct from his political responsibilities. The premier noted that in light of the allegations of influence peddling, the credibility of the Ministry of Justice has been thrown into question. Jiang said that under such circumstances Tseng should hold himself to account.
Jiang said all government officials should be prepared to resign in the interests of the nation. Jiang added that he himself is prepared to resign at anytime should the situation require it.
Jiang said he has noticed that many news reports have misinterpreted his “interaction” with Tseng, stressing that unlike local media suggestions he did not force Tseng to resign over the incident. He added that he still respects Tseng.
“I am not a calculating person:” Jiang
Over the past few days, local press has suggested that Jiang's comments on the alleged illegal lobbying incident might have been informed by political motives.
Jiang said he has not thought about elections or attempted to “climb up to a higher ranking,” adding that he is not a calculating person.
Given that the new legislative session is about to commence, Jiang urged officials to pay more attention to interactions with legislators. He added that in order to seek support from legislators, officials should work harder on explaining the details of major bill proposals. Jiang added that the government cannot idle amid the domestic political struggles.