Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Lien Chan (連戰) yesterday expressed his willingness to resolve the political battle between President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), amid calls within the KMT for a reconciliation meeting between the two KMT heavyweights.
“I can’t guarantee ... but everyone will be willing to smooth things out [between Ma and Wang] if given a chance,” he said at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport before embarking on a private visit to China.
Lien has voiced his support for Wang in the wake of Wang’s alleged improper lobbying. His comments yesterday echoed the calls of another KMT heavyweight, former KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄), for Ma and Wang to sit down and resolve their dispute over the incident.
The rift in the KMT has caused great concerns within the party about party unity. Several KMT politicians, including Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and New Taipei City (新北市) Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), have voiced support for a proposed Ma-Wang meeting and said they expect the matter to be resolved as soon as possible.
“It would be good for the two to meet ... I also expect Speaker Wang to allow Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) to present a performance report on the legislative floor, and that the administrative and legislative branches will function normally,” Hau said.
Chu, on the other hand, said while the dispute is being addressed via legal procedures, Ma and Wang should have the “wisdom” to resolve the political rift and interact with each other “in a natural way.”
Ma, who has dismissed suggestions of a so-called “elimination plan” targeting Wang, yesterday declined to comment on the lobbying dispute and his problematic relations with the legislative speaker.
The Presidential Office said Ma has learned about party heavyweights’ call for a Ma-Wang meeting, but insisted that there are also calls for the incident to be settled through legal means.
Amid calls for a reconciliation between Ma and Wang, the legal battle over Wang’s party membership and speakership status continued, as the Taiwan High Court yesterday assigned a courtroom to hear the KMT’s appeal against the decision by a lower court to allow Wang to keep his party membership for the time being.
While there has been no plans for a formal meeting between Ma and Wang, the two could meet on Friday next week if both decide to attend an annual ceremony celebrating Confucius’ birthday in Taipei.
The KMT has also dismissed allegations that it withdrew its invitation for Wang to attend the 19th party congress on Sunday next week.
It remains uncertain whether Wang will attend the event.
Meanwhile, the High Court announced the names of the three judges who will hear an appeal filed by the KMT.
High Court spokesman Hung Kuang-tsan (洪光燦) told a press conference that Presiding Judge Wang Li-li (王麗莉), Judge Lee Yuan-yuan (李媛媛) and Judge Wei Li-chuan (魏莉娟) would hear the appeal.
Hung said the selection of a civil court with its three judges was done by a computer drawing lots, which is a regular practice for the High Court’s civil courts.
Three presiding judges and two judges of the civil courts formed a task force to monitor the computerized drawing of lots, which was transparent and fair, he added.
Wang’s attorney on Tuesday requested that the High Court hold a public drawing of lots to decide which court would hear the appeal and requested that attorneys for both sides be allowed to watch the process.
Hung said a computer drawing lots with senior judges monitoring the process was in accordance with the Judges’ Act (法官法).
The KMT’s attorneys on Monday filed an appeal with the High Court against the ruling handed down on Friday by the Taipei District Court in favor of Wang.
Wang last week requested an injunction from the Taipei District Court against the KMT’s decision to revoke his party membership, over his alleged role in attempting to influence a prosecutor in a legal case involving Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘).
The district court ruled that Wang may keep his rights as a KMT member until a final ruling, on condition that he pays NT$9.38 million (US$315,000) as a collateral deposit.
The court’s ruling took effect on Saturday after it had been delivered to the KMT, the Central Election Commission and the legislature.
‘DEMOCRATIC FISH’: Soichiro Hayashi said he wants to return Taiwan’s kindness after it helped with relief efforts after the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami Japanese fish farmers are ready to help Taiwan after China banned Taiwanese grouper imports, the Sankei Shimbun reported yesterday. The Chinese General Administration of Customs suspended imports of the fish on Monday last week, citing prohibited chemicals and excessive levels of oxytetracycline allegedly found in grouper imports since December last year. Soichiro Hayashi, president of the Hayashi Trout Farm in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture, is leading the push for Taiwanese grouper imports, the newspaper said. His call has caught the attention of several large sushi chains, the report said. Hayashi, who is the Fukushima branch head of the Friends of Lee Teng-hui Association in Japan,
‘TROJAN HORSE’ SCHEME: The comment that a bridge would allow China’s PLA to easily launch an attack shows ‘a lack of backbone,’ Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je said Critics accused Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) of being oblivious to national security concerns after he proposed constructing a bridge to link Kinmen and China’s Xiamen (廈門). Ko, who is also the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) chairman, made the proposal when presiding over the opening ceremony of the party’s office in Kinmen on Saturday. He said the bridge could solve Kinmen’s population, electricity and garbage problems, as well as serve as a shortcut for leaving or entering Taiwan without traveling via Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport). He also proposed building a hospital in Kinmen to attract people who are seeking medical treatment in
OVER THE HUMP: In a seven-day period ending on Wednesday, the nation reported 366,628 new cases, down 19 percent from the 451,358 reported in the previous week The nation might further open up to more arrivals in the next two months, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported 48,283 new local COVID-19 cases, down from more than 50,000 in the previous few days. Taiwan on Wednesday last week introduced a plan to allow up to 25,000 arrivals per week as part of efforts to gradually reopen borders, which includes reducing mandatory quarantines for inbound travelers from seven to three days, followed by four days in “self-initiated epidemic prevention.” The quota covers inbound Taiwanese arrivals, businesspeople and migrant workers. Former vice president Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday said
CECC UPDATE: Officials said the definition of a confirmed COVID-19 case has been revised to include those who are positive in a PCR home test confirmed by a doctor The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that it would probably list monkeypox as a category 2 notifiable communicable disease today or tomorrow. The WHO is to convene an emergency committee meeting today in accordance with the International Health Regulations to discuss whether the spread of monkeypox to 39 countries, including 32 non-endemic countries, constitutes a public health emergency of international concern. On Tuesday, the Singaporean Ministry of Health confirmed its first imported case of monkeypox, which is also the first case reported in Southeast Asia. South Korea yesterday reported its first confirmed case of monkeypox — a South Korean national who