Legislative speaker questions KMT party membership case - Focus Taiwan

Legislative speaker questions KMT party membership case

Taipei, Dec. 5 (CNA) Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng filed a petition Friday with the Taiwan Supreme Court concerning his membership of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT).

Wang, acting through his lawyer, noted that President Ma Ying-jeou stepped down as KMT chairman two days earlier and that the legal representative of the party is now Vice President Wu Den-yih.

Ma resigned to take responsibility for the party's massive defeat in Nov. 29 local elections. Wu, the first vice chairman, is serving as acting chairman of the party until the new chairman is elected, expected in January 2015.

Wang demanded to learn about Wu's attitude toward the case to facilitate the proceedings of the litigation.

On some KMT legislators' hopes that the party will drop its appeal regarding Wang's party membership "for the sake of party unity," Wang said he respects the party's handling of the case.

Wang, 73, said that party solidarity is to "move in the right direction," adding that this will help its legislators in their bids to seek re-election in 2016.

"They should follow the public will," he said.

The KMT's Evaluation and Disciplinary Committee stripped Wang of his party membership in September 2013 for alleged influence peddling in a judicial case involving a legislator of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party.

The KMT decision could cost Wang his post as legislative speaker, which he has held since 1999, because he is a KMT-appointed legislator at large.

But Wang fought back and district and high court rulings have so far stymied the KMT's attempts to expel him.

Ma decided to appeal the Taiwan High Court's ruling in October, despite calls from KMT heavyweights who had urged party unity prior to the local elections.

(By Liu Shih-yi, Chen Wei-ting and Lilian Wu)ENDITEM/J

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