The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday brought Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng’s (王金平) lawsuit concerning his party membership and speakership to a higher court.
Chen Ming (陳明), a lawyer who represents the KMT, filed an appeal with the Taiwan High Court against the ruling handed down by the Taipei District Court in favor of Wang on Friday last week.
Chen and two another attorneys filed the appeal on behalf of the KMT at 5:20pm.
The Taipei District Court “has no jurisdiction” whatsoever over the case because a person disciplined by his or her party is “a matter within the scope of autonomy in the party,” Chen said, adding that his interpretation was supported by a verdict rendered by the Supreme Court of Japan.
Wang requested an injunction from the Taipei District Court against the KMT’s decision to revoke his party membership over his alleged role in influencing a prosecutor in a legal case involving Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘).
The administration first made its allegations against Wang public while the speaker was attending his daughter’s wedding in Malaysia. The ensuing row between Wang and the KMT has caused a political storm and raised speculation about a possible split within the party ahead of next year’s seven-in-one elections.
The district court ruled that Wang may keep his rights as a KMT member until a final ruling on condition that he pay NT$9.38 million (US$315,000) as a collateral deposit.
The ruling took effect on Saturday last week after the ruling was delivered to the KMT, the Central Election Commission and the legislature.
Aside from the argument regarding the district court’s jurisdiction, the KMT said in its appeal that the court’s ruling was redundant.
Wang’s status as a legislator was invalidated when the CEC sent its cancelation of his status to the legislature on Wednesday last week, Chen said.
“Since his status has been voided, it’s unnecessary to have the district court rule on the case,” he said.
The legislature received a notice from the commission that it has revoked his status, but the legislature has not voided Wang’s status.
The High Court is expected to hold a hearing on the case today.
According to the law, if the KMT wins the appeal, the case will be sent back to the district court for reconsideration, but if the KMT’s appeal fails, the party could appeal the decision with the Supreme Court.
Separately, when asked by reporters on his thoughts on the controversy, former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said that Wang retains KMT membership.
“We should follow procedures established by a democratic society [in treating such cases] and not just do whatever we want to do,” Lee said after a court appearance in Taipei.
Additional reporting by Jake Chung and staff writer