The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Wednesday decided to appeal to the Supreme Court in its efforts to revoke the membership of Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), despite calls from within the party to maintain unity.
KMT spokesman Charles Chen (陳以信) said the legal action was aimed at ensuring the normal function of the party and upholding the authority of its Evaluation and Discipline Committee.
The KMT revoked Wang’s membership amid allegations that he used his influence to sway a legal case in September last year, a move that could have cost his seat as a KMT legislator-at-large and his position as legislative speaker, a role he has held since 1999.
The High Court ruled that revoking Wang’s membership would irreversibly damage his rights.
Earlier in the Central Standing Committee meeting, some members called on the party to carefully consider the ramifications of further legal action.
President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as KMT chairman, replied by saying that great care would be taken in evaluating an appeal.
On Wednesday evening, Chen said that the appeal would proceed.
Chen said the party has a reason to pursue the case that it cannot share, adding that members calling for leadership to keep the peace were ignoring how the ruling in favor of Wang affected the KMT.
Chen raised four “issues” with the original ruling: that unconditional acceptance of the decision without appeal by the party would affect future party disciplinary actions; the impossibility of convening half of the party’s members and having two-thirds of the attending members vote for the removal of a member; that the trials in both the District Court and the High Court contained erroneous information and only the Supreme Court could overturn the ruling based on a trial by law; and only a trial by law would put aside the question of whether Wang had peddled his influence or not, but the appeal would not affect the court’s provisional ruling that Wang would be able to retain his membership and rights as a KMT member after submitting a guarantee of about NT$9.38 million (US$314,000).
The High Court ruling contributed nothing to resolving the issue and focused on the process, Chen said, adding that the court did not understand how political parties worked and its ruling was a severe limitation on party processes.
Concerning questions that the KMT appeal of the ruling would cause discontent within the party, deter harmony and estrange Wang, Chen said Wang has always been a loyal member of the party and the appeal would not affect his plan to stump for KMT candidates.
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