Fri, Feb 28, 2014 - Page 3 News List

KMT suspends Apollo Chen for dissenting vote

By Jason Pan  /  Staff writer, with CNA

The Nationalist Chinese Party (KMT) Central Evaluation and Discipline Committee has voted to suspend the party duties and privileges of Apollo Chen (陳學聖) for one year, following his dissenting vote on an amendment to the Land Administration Agents Act (地政士法) last month.

After receiving the news, Chen said: “Since I cast the vote, I must have the courage to bear the consequences.”

“After some time has passed, everyone will know that I stood up for the public with the right decision,” he added.

In a meeting yesterday, the committee passed the one-year suspension unanimously.

At the legislature’s extra session on Jan. 27 and Jan. 28, the KMT called on all party lawmakers to attend the vote and to approve the amendment to the Land Administration Agents Act. However, Apollo Chen did not toe the party line and cast a dissenting vote.

The KMT committee said that Chen had violated the party charter’s article by not following the resolution, policies and guiding principles of the party, and therefore it was forced to hand out the suspension.

The amendment to the Land Administration Agents Act was passed by the legislature on Jan. 3. It aims to ease land administration agents’ responsibility for registering real-estate sales prices by allowing them a second chance to revise a registration.

However, the Executive Yuan has decided the amendment could provide a loophole that might undermine the actual-price registration system for property transactions launched by the government on Aug. 1, 2012, to curb property speculation and increase transparency in the housing market.

In an attempt to fight the ongiong inflation of property prices, the government has required that buyers, real-estate brokers and land administration agents register the actual transaction prices of properties or face a fine.

The amended act was seen by the Executive Yuan as a loophole that could undermine the real-estate transaction price registration system.

Land administration agents made protests last month against the Executive Yuan’s request to rescind the amendment.

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