The legal case concerning Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng’s (王金平) party membership, which some expected to top the agenda at the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Central Standing Committee (CSC) meeting yesterday, was not dealt with, although Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who is acting KMT chairman, did say dropping the lawsuit might discredit the party’s Central Evaluation and Discipline Committee.
Wang took the KMT to court in September last year after the committee revoked his membership amid allegations Wang tried to influence justice officials to help an opposition legislator in a legal case.
The Taiwan High Court in September ruled in Wang’s favor, upholding a district court decision in May ruling that Wang still holds his KMT membership. The party filed an appeal.
Photo: Chen I-chuan, Taipei Times
The meeting yesterday was the first after the party’s defeat in the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 29. Many party members, KMT legislators included, had expected Wu, as the acting chairperson, to announce a retraction of the lawsuit against Wang to demonstrate party solidarity.
More than 20 CSC members said at the meeting that the party should drop the case, but Wu decided to hold off on reviewing the proposal.
Earlier yesterday, Wu said he had told Wang that his case would not be discussed at the meeting since “a lot has to be taken into account.”
“The High Court’s ruling has cast doubt on the established authority of the discipline committee, so dropping the lawsuit would be tantamount to endorsing the doubt,” Wu said. “If it did drop the case, how is the KMT to handle violations of party disciplines in the future?”
“We have asked divisions to review the matter, evaluating the effect of a possible retraction and whether it would affect the credibility of the discipline committee,” he added. “The opinions offered by the experts are to be collected for the new party chairperson’s consideration.”
“It would not be appropriate for an acting chairperson to make such a big decision,” Wu said.
Wu said that during his term as acting chairman, which is to last about a month, three major issues need to be settled: a review of the party’s performance in the elections; a public and fair party chairperson by-election; and a discussion about and nominations for council speaker and legislators.
Separately, Wu reiterated that he would not run for the chairmanship and, when asked about the rumor that he would run for president in 2016 with Wang being party chairman, Wu said he had “never heard such reports,” a response echoed by Wang.
Wang also denied that he would join the race for the chairperson role, saying that he had not thought about it.
Wu and Wang said they were open to any candidate for party chairperson after reporters said many have been urging New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) to stand.
The KMT set Jan. 17 as the date for the chairperson election.
Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan
ESPIONAGE CHARGE: A TAO spokesperson said that the rights of Shih Cheng-ping were ‘fully safeguarded’ during the hearing, which handed him four years in prison China sentenced Shih Cheng-ping (施正屏), a former National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU) professor, to four years in jail for espionage, officials said yesterday. The ruling came a month after Shih made a televised “confession” on state media. Shih, who is also a former chief economist for Chinese conglomerate Huaxia Group (華夏集團), was found guilty by a Chinese court on Tuesday, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) told a news briefing. Shih — who vanished after traveling to China in August 2018 — was among Taiwanese who China Central Television (CCTV) last month showed confessing to spying. CCTV often broadcasts suspects admitting to crimes, even
TIMELINE QUESTIONS: Chen Shih-chung said: ‘If anyone could assure us that we could get the shots in the first quarter of next year, we could set off firecrackers’ Taiwan has secured nearly 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday, as it reported five new imported infections among travelers from Indonesia and the Philippines. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that Taiwan on Monday signed a procurement contract with a COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer and paid a deposit to secure 10 million doses. It was the first contract finalized with a manufacturer and negotiations are under way with three other vaccine makers, Chen said. With the more than 4.6 million doses that can be obtained through the COVAX platform —
VIGILANCE: From tomorrow all arrivals must provide the result of a PCR test issued within three days of boarding, and the CECC asked people to report anyone who has faked their result The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) expects an increase in the number of returning travelers in the coming days, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, adding that the varying qualities of COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test reports from other countries is a big concern. Chen, who heads the center, was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders scholarship award ceremony in Taipei. “As the global COVID-19 situation is worsening, and with some holidays coming up, there might be an increase in the number of overseas Taiwanese returning to Taiwan,” he
SKIN, ENTRAILS: Placards also dotted the legislative chamber, with slogans such as ‘Oppose ractopamine pork — not US pork’ and ‘Much ado about nothing’ Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers yesterday pelted Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) with pig skin and entrails as he addressed the Legislative Yuan on pork imports for the first time since the KMT’s boycott began on Sept. 18. Opposition lawmakers have been demanding an apology from the government for its decision to lift its ban on the importation of US pork containing residues of the livestock drug ractopamine. After Su arrived at 10am for his 13th attempt to deliver a regular policy report, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus moved to change the agenda to accommodate the premier. The motion resulted in cries of