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LINES DRAWN OVER FORMATION OF SPECIAL INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE

2004-03-29 23:22:23

    Taipei, March 29 (CNA) A battle line was drawn between the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the "pan-blue alliance" of the two main opposition parties, the Kuomintang (KMT) and the People First Party (PFP) over the opposition's demand for a special committee to investigate the March 19 shooting of President Chen Shui-bian.

    The alliance believes that the incident -- in which Chen and his running mate Vice President Annette Lu suffered slight injuries -- boosted Chen's popularity and helped him win the next day's election by a razor-thin margin.

    Legislator Liao Feng-teh, the secretary of the KMT legislative caucus, claimed the best way to set up such an independent investigation committee would be by an emergency decree by the president, an idea has already been rejected by the president.

    The alternative would be to set up a committee in the Legislative Yuan based on a special act yet to be enacted, because the Legislative Yuan has no power to investigate, Liao explained.

    Such an act needs the DPP lawmakers' cooperation, which is not possible without the approval of the president, who is the chairman of the DPP, Liao went on.

    Legislator Tsai Huang-lang, Liao's DPP counterpart in the Legislative Yuan, confirmed Liao's prediction by criticizing the idea as an infringement on the right of the judiciary system that does not conform with the basic principles of the Constitution.

    If a special act could be enacted to empower the legislative branch to conduct an investigation into the incident, it would negate the existence of the judiciary branch and tilt the balance among the executive, legislative and judicial branches, Tsai pointed out.

    Tsai's opinion was echoed by the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU), the DPP's political ally in the Legislative Yuan.

    Legislator Chen Chien-ming, a convener of the TSU legislative caucus, said a special investigation committee under the Legislative Yuan would only give rise to more chaos and prove that the KMT and PFP have an axe to grind rather than simply wanting a vote recount as they have claimed.

(By Maubo Chang)

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