Sat, Sep 27, 2014 - Page 3 News List

High Court backs Wang in KMT membership fight

SECOND VICTORY:The court ruled that the Chinese Nationalist Party went against democratic principles when an internal committee ousted Wang Jin-pyng

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng waves after a Taiwan High Court ruling in his favor against the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

The Taiwan High Court yesterday ruled in favor of Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) in his legal battle with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), saying that the party’s revocation of his membership went against the principles of democracy.

It was Wang’s second victory in the case, following a district court judgement that he still holds membership in the KMT.

The ruling can be appealed.

The Taiwan High Court said in a press release that — since the members of the KMT’s discipline committee are assigned rather than elected by party members or party member representatives — the decision to revoke Wang’s party membership is therefore contrary to the “common ideas of democratic politics” stipulated in the Civic Association Act (人民團體法) and the “principle of majority rule” upheld by an interpretation by the Council of Grand Justices.

Wang took the KMT to court in September last year after its discipline committee revoked his membership due to his alleged effort to influence justice officials to help a senior opposition legislator who was fighting a legal case.

Loss of party membership would mean that Wang could no longer serve as an at-large legislator or legislative speaker.

In a previous ruling, the Taipei District Court said that a political party cannot allow an internal organization that does not fully represent the opinion of party members to deprive someone of their membership.

The KMT filed an appeal after the ruling in March.

Asked yesterday for comment about the latest ruling, Wang said he still maintained his “inner peace as always,” and “would respect the court’s judgement.”

He said he would “respect the party’s decision,” when asked whether he would expect the KMT party leadership to stop filing for additional appeals.

KMT spokesman Charles Chen (陳以信) said that the party would not rule out filing a second appeal and would consult with its lawyers on whether to do so.

However, with local government elections just two months away, he said, all KMT members should unite to help the party win.

Wang has been part of the KMT’s election campaign apparatus, saying that he would “do what he needs to do and help out the campaign as he should.”

Meanwhile, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said that the rulings showed that the attempts made by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his administration to oust Wang were unconstitutional and responsible for instigating political chaos.

DPP spokesperson Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) said “the political feud” Ma waged against Wang has seriously tainted the nation’s democratic image.

The Taipei District Court and the Taiwan High Court rulings were indicative of the claims that Ma has been tampering with the constitutional institution and misusing judicial resources, Huang said.

“If the president has any shame, he should apologize to the public for his political farce,” he added.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiu-chuan

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