ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Taiwan's ruling party kicks out speaker
Publication Date : 12-09-2013
Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang (KMT) yesterday revoked Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng's party membership, meaning that Wang will lose his positions as legislator and speaker of the Legislative Yuan.
The KMT's Party Disciplinary Committee arrived at its decision through a majority vote, saying that Wang's actions had “marred the party's reputation”, and that his membership was revoked in accordance with the party's charter.
Wang is facing influence-peddling claims.
President Ma Ying-jeou, who doubles as KMT chairman, said the committee's decision was painful but necessary, in light of Wang's implication in the recent lobbying scandal.
“Legislature Speaker Wang has fought along the side of the KMT for many years. He has shown a great deal of support during elections, toward the administration and toward (myself) ... Although the decision (to revoke his membership) was both difficult and painful, it was (a step) we had to take,” Ma explained.
“As a KMT member, I feel very sad about today's developments. In terms of ... upholding judicial independence, we have not done enough. This has been a very painful lesson ... Only through reform will we ensure solidarity. The KMT must take a step forward,” Ma said.
“We will not allow any member of this party to challenge our (resolve) to safeguard (the nation's) judicial integrity,” Ma added.
Ma made the above comments at the KMT's weekly Central Standing Committee meeting, after the Party Disciplinary Committee had handed down its decision.
Several Central Standing Committee members were noticeably absent at the meeting, including Legislative Yuan Deputy Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu.
Before the Party Disciplinary Committee had convened at 9:30am, Ma held a press conference an hour earlier at 8:30am, saying that regardless of his friendship with Wang, he cannot stand by while the legislative speaker had so “openly interfered with the judicial system”.
“Legislative Speaker Wang ... has repeatedly called for solidarity ... however, the party's solidarity must be built on honesty, integrity, and a love for the people ... We cannot remain united if solidarity means destroying the credibility of our judicial system,” Ma said.
“I believe that (Wang) is no longer fit to serve as speaker of the Legislative Yuan. If the KMT cannot revoke his membership ... we will in effect be allowing the integrity of our judicial system to be trampled on,” Ma said.
Meanwhile, Wang said that he will file for an appeal against the committee's decision in accordance with KMT regulations.
Wang appeared calm while fielding questions and said that he had more or less anticipated the committee's decision.
KMT Central Standing Committee member Lee Te-wei, widely known as a member of former Vice President Lien Chan's faction within the KMT, blasted Ma over the incident, saying that the committee's decision marked “the most shameful day of (its) history”.
Lee reportedly said that Ma had “really lost his mind”, and that his actions will make it very hard for him to lead the KMT as chairman.
Ma's decision to hold a press conference before the Party Disciplinary Committee meeting was extremely underhanded, Lee said, according to local reports.
Meanwhile, Central Committee member Fu Yuan-hung reportedly urged the Central Standing Committee to impeach Ma.