What an ironic twist and dilemma for CSB!
January 5, 2007 8:18am CST
What an ironic twist and dilemma for CSB! My take: More self-destruction by CSB. Will the irony ever stop with this cat? Taiwan president may be forced to let opposition leader head island's cabinet The Associated Press Published 2006-06-04 18:07 (KST) By ANNIE HUANG TAIPEI, Taiwan Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian may be forced to appoint opposition's popular leader as head of the Cabinet to deflect pressure for Chen's resignation, analysts say _ but the opposition leader appears to be resisting. On Sunday, opposition Nationalist Party chief Ma Ying-jeou said that naming him premier was only ''one possibility,'' and that ''as of now it would be hard to predict any political development.'' Ma's statement followed a noisy rally Saturday, with about 10,000 opposition supporters demanding Chen resign amid a swirl of debilitating corruption scandals. Ma appeared at the rally outside Taipei's presidential office. Last week Chen ceded some of his powers to Premier Su Tseng-chang of the ruling Democratic Progressive Partyin a bid to quell public dissatisfaction over the scandals, which involve Chen's son-in-law, several members of his inner circle, and _ according to the opposition _ Chen's wife. The presidential office denies Chen's wife is implicated, and Chen's son-in-law denies charges that he used insider information to make huge stock market profits. He is currently under arrest. Calls for Chen to appoint the opposition leader as premier began almost as soon as elections in 2004 gave the opposition control of the 225-seat Legislature. The Nationalists and their People First Party satellite hold 113 seats, while independents have another 12. Chang Ling-cheng, a political scientist at Taipei's National Taiwan University, said Chen's long-standing opposition to naming the Nationalist leader as premier may now be softening due to continuing popular dissatisfaction over the scandals. ''Chen has resisted appointing an opposition premier in the past because he had popular support,'' he said. ''Now he would do anything to get himself off the hook.'' If Chen refuses to appoint an opposition premier, the Nationalists and their allies could easily succeed in a vote of no confidence against the premier, leaving Chen the choice of appointing an opposition successor, or dissolving the parliament. Shih Ming-teh, a former DPP chairman who is now a Chen rival, said the president will resist dissolution because of the DPP's poor prospects in legislative elections. Dissolution would require such elections to be held. ''Chen would not dare dissolving the parliament, nor will the DPP accept such an option because the ruling party will no doubt fail in the new legislative elections,'' Shih said. An additional DPP problem with the dissolution option, Shih said, is that new elections could give the opposition two-thirds of the seats in the chamber, paving the way for meeting one of two thresholds for recalling Chen. A recall measure would also need to be ratified by a majority vote in an island-wide referendum that enlists at least half of Taiwan's eligible voters. Ma's refusal to enthusiastically embrace the premiership may reflect his calculation that taking responsibility for Taiwan's government during the final two years of its term could compromise his chances in the island's 2008 presidential elections. Ma is widely seen as the favorite in that poll, and may believe that a wiser course would be forcing the DPP to continue taking responsibility for Taiwan's many problems, which include a lackluster economy and troubled relations with the United States, the island's main ally. Taiwan's constitution is vague on the delineation of the president and premier's duties. In the past, Ma has argued that since the premier has to sell his policy to the Legislature, the position should go to the party or alliance that has legislative control. For the time being however, that judgment seems to have been put on hold.