Civic groups call for neutrality, legislative reforms

ACT FAIRLY::The groups said both Wang Jin-pyng and Ker Chien-ming should be suspended, while the legislature should establish a special committee on the case

By Chris Wang  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Sep 18, 2013 - Page 3

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng’s (王金平) current strife with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) provides a golden opportunity to promote the principle of political neutrality for legislative speakers, but Wang should still be investigated for his alleged improper lobbying, civic groups said yesterday.

Wang’s KMT membership was temporarily reinstated after the Taipei District Court ordered a provisional injunction and he was able to retain his speakership. Taiwan Democracy Watch (TDW) said it was time to review the alleged improper lobbying case that ignited the political turmoil.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who also serves as KMT chairman, and the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Special Investigation Division (SID) accused Wang of lobbying high-ranking judicial officials to persuade a prosecutor not to appeal a case involving DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) with the Supreme Court.

TDW spokesperson Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) urged the Legislative Yuan to immediately send the case to its Discipline Committee and suspend Wang and Ker.

With the KMT denying Wang participation in party affairs, he should resign from all party position to reaffirm his neutrality in dealing with legislative affairs, Hsu said.

Citizen Congress Watch (CCW) also urged the legislature to establish a special committee on the case involving alleged improper lobbying and illegal wiretapping as the first step in its pursuit of congressional integrity.

In light of the administration’s increasing infringement of the powers of the legislative branch, the legislature is advised to step up its efforts to promote comprehensive reforms, such as the establishment of investigation rights and improving transparency, CCW executive director Chang Hung-lin (張宏林) said.

“Wang could take the opportunity to do extraordinary things — not only proving his innocence in the lobbying case, but also leaving a legacy with historical meanings — by promoting the necessary reforms,” Lin added.