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Legislative speaker intent on retaining party membership

2013/09/11 22:19:59

Taipei, Sept. 11 (CNA) Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said Wednesday he was saddened by a decision by the Kuomintang (KMT) to strip him of his party membership for alleged influence peddling, but he vowed to seek remedial channels to uphold his rights as a party member.

Appearing after the KMT's disciplinary committee revoked his membership earlier Wednesday, Wang seemed to be disappointed by the decision but said he was taking it in stride.

Wang apologized to the public for the turmoil caused by the allegations that he tried to use his influence to urge a prosecutor of a breach of trust case not to appeal a court verdict.

Since the allegations were made public on Sept. 6 by a special investigation unit, Justice Minister Tseng Yung-fu has resigned, President Ma Ying-jeou has pushed hard to oust Wang from the party, raising the prospects of a split within the KMT, and the media has been fixated on the story with non-stop coverage.

Wang could lose his seat in the Legislature and his post as legislative speaker as a result of the decision, but he still presided over a bipartisan coordination meeting in the Legislature as scheduled in the afternoon.

On whether to form a third party, as some speculated he might try if he did lose his post, Wang said he would not consider such a issue, stressing that he is a loyal KMT member.

He said he simply hoped for the smooth operation of the Legislature, even if people don't realize how hard that is to achieve, and he also hoped for the continued solidarity of the party, urging all members supporting him to continue to remain in the KMT.

Wang, who said a day earlier that he would not quit the party or the post of speakership, filed a suit against the KMT with the Taipei District Court through former legislator and lawyer Chiu Tai-san later Wednesday.

Chiu said the way the KMT's Evaluation and Disciplinary Committee came to its decision to strip Wang of his membership was rash and may have violated the law.

He also advised Wang to seek an injunction to stop the KMT from replacing him in the Legislature before the civil case could be decided.

Wu Ping-jui, a DPP caucus whip in the Legislature, said the suit could buy Wang some time if an injunction were granted because once the district court rules on it, Wang could appeal the ruling to a higher court if it goes against him.

"In other words, a final ruling on the civil suit on Wang's party membership is not likely to come in the next two or three years," Wu said.

(By Tseng Ying-yu, Chen Hsun-hsieh, Wen Kuei-hsiang, Wang Ching-yi
and Lilian Wu)