Thursday, March 02, 2006

Recall and Impeachment

The KMT and PFP are being their irrepressible selves!

I was wondering why I have been reading in English about impeachment (tanhe) but in Chinese about recall (bamian) initiatives planned by the opposition.

Turns out, they are pursuing both courses. I explained recall procecures somewhat in the post below.

To my understanding, for impeachment lawmakers propose an impeachment case (usually because of unconsitutional behavior on the part of officials) and the Council of Grand Justices makes a ruling. If it's in favor of impeachment, then the official has to step down. Doesn't sound like it would have much of a chance of succeeding.

However, I haven't looked up the legal basis of this, so I'm unsure if I've gotten it right ...

UPDATE (March 3): OK, I've looked it up. From the president's website.

According to the most recent constitutional amendments for August 2004. Half of all legislators can initiate impeachment (this is feasible, since the opposition has the legislative majority). Then 2/3 of all legislators must pass the resolution, which is then referred to the Council of Grand Justices for a ruling (shenli; unlikely that 2/3 of lawmakers would pass the resolution, since about 100 of 225 wouldn't play ball and even if they did pass it, the Grand Justices are unlikely to rule in favor of impeachment).

I'm still a bit uncertain about the grounds for impeachment, but a previous amendment says the reasons for impeachment are either causing civil strife (fan neiluan) or treason (waihuanzui). I guess the opposition is going for causing civil strife.

This really reminds me of how the pan blues took all possible judicial remedies to court after the 2004 election, instead of focusing their energy on the one remedy that stood the best chance of succeeding. Of course in this case, they've chosen two dead-end routes - all in the name of "expressing strong dissatisfaction." Spinning their wheels.


David said...

I don't think the KMT could really be that serious about impeachment. It's all bluster. After all impeaching Chen would make Annette Lu the President. I say bring it on...

Hyatt said...

I'm too busy to do the research, but I seem to remember similar bluster over the years. How many times have the KMT or the blue splinter parties called for impeachment or recall since Chen took office?

Rank Beginner said...

There has been some bluster in the past, but never a serious threat to try to initiate a recall or impeachment. I think David identified the main reason why these calls have never extended beyond idle threats: President Annette.