Abolish government branches
People First Party Secretary-General Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞), who President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has nominated for vice president of the Control Yuan, has said that the Executive Yuan is an independent, separate branch of government and should not have any political party baggage.
He has also said that he does not oppose abolishing the Control Yuan, but if its duties of investigation and impeachment are transferred to the Legislative Yuan before the government has completed the reform process, the legislature would have too much power.
When the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was in opposition, it put all of its weight behind a call to abolish the Examination Yuan and the Control Yuan, instead implementing separation of powers with three branches of government — executive, legislative and judicial — that would be more in line with what is done in other democratic nations.
The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government of the time, for pompous, high-sounding reasons, insisted it was necessary to keep the two branches and preserve Republic of China founder Sun Yat-sen’s (孫逸仙) five-power constitutional system.
After the DPP took the reins of government in 2016, it went silent on the topic, and Tsai continued to nominate members of the two institutions, defending what was an untenable position by saying that something needed to be done, but failing to act.
For its part, the KMT believes that the two branches should be reformed, but there is no need to abolish them outright, and says that the DPP is all talk and no action.
Former Control Yuan president Wang Chien-hsien (王建煊) likened the institution to chicken ribs — “they have no flavor, yet people cannot bring themselves to throw them away”— while a KMT think tank said that the institution “hinders national advancement and development.”
More importantly, there is duplication and overlap in the remit of the two branches with the other branches of government. Such tasks could either be discarded or transferred to the executive or legislative branches. This would not affect the rights of the public and it would save a lot of money.
In addition, there is already a consensus in the nation about the need to abolish them.
Unfortunately, Tsai is now into her sixth year as president, and there is yet to be even the slightest movement on the issue.
Whatever happened to the DPP’s drive?
If the government is going to retain the public’s trust, it needs to set aside time to abolish the Examination Yuan and the Control Yuan.
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