The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it would not pursue its suit against Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) over his party membership, with KMT Chairman and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) affirming Wang’s KMT membership.
“Wang is undoubtedly our comrade in the KMT,” Chu said after yesterday’s meeting of the party’s Central Standing Committee.
In its previous meeting, the committee revised the party’s nominating mechanism for its Evaluation and Disciplinary Committee as well as the disciplinary actions protocol, as well as deciding that a newly reshuffled disciplinary committee would review the revocation of Wang’s membership — a decision made by the former disciplinary committee in 2013 when President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) chaired the party — therefore it is not necessary to pursue the Wang case in court, Chu said.
Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times
Ma issued a statement saying that he “deeply regretted and strongly disapproved Chu’s withdrawal of the appeal of Wang’s case,” adding that the KMT, as a moral and upright party, “could not blur the line between right and wrong, and should uphold its core values to honor its vast membership.”
Wang took the KMT to court in September 2013 after the party revoked his membership amid allegations that he tried to influence the judiciary to help an opposition legislator in a legal case.
Both the Taipei District Court and the Taiwan High Court ruled in favor of Wang in March and September last year, deciding that Wang would be able to retain his membership and rights as a KMT member. In October last year, Ma ordered the party to appeal against the High Court’s ruling.
Ma stepped down as party chairman after the KMT’s drubbing in the nine-in-one elections in November.
That he took the case to the Supreme Court was “not about his ‘Ma-Wang strife,’” but to “maintain discipline within the party and for long-term benefits,” Ma said in his statement, adding that the High Court’s ruling — which said that the KMT did not follow legal procedures in revoking Wang’s membership — was “ignorant of a party’s actual operations” and “showed tolerance of violations,” thus “causing irreversible damage to the integrity of the KMT.”
The litigation at the Supreme Court was halted when Chu replaced Ma as KMT chairman and its legal representative last month.
According to the Civil Procedure Code (民事訴訟法), Chu, as the KMT’s new legal representative, may decide whether to take over the lawsuit filed by Ma, and if Chu does not assume the suit, the appeal the KMT had lodged would be dismissed, as “it fails to follow the legal procedures,” a senior judge at the Supreme Court said, adding that the Supreme Court would subsequently finalize the verdict made by the High Court.
Chu yesterday said that he would not assume the suit.
Wang’s lawyer Chung Ping-hsien (鍾秉憲) said that Wang was grateful for Chu’s decision, but added that the KMT should formally issue a document to the Supreme Court stating that it would not assume the suit or withdraw its appeal to conclude the case; otherwise, Chu’s words would be empty.
Wang would accept and respect the outcome of the case, whatever it might be, Chung said.
KMT spokesperson Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) yesterday said that the court’s ruling was based on the revocation procedures, not on the revocation itself, but the KMT accepted the court’s verdict by making revisions to two party regulations, reiterating that the KMT would not appeal the court’s ruling.
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