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Sat, Jul 13, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Law: Grand justices refuse case


The Council of Grand Justices yesterday refused to rule on the legality of former DPP lawmaker Chiu Chang's (邱彰) dismissal on grounds the issue falls outside its jurisdiction. Chiu, who won her seat through proportional representation last December, automatically lost her office as a legislator-at-large after the DPP recently revoked her membership. Insisting that elected officials can only be removed from office through a popular vote, she asked the Council to decide on the constitutionality of her ouster. Though contentious and straightforward, Chiu was able to get over 70 lawmakers from across party lines to sign her petition. The grand justices, however, decided not to take up her case. "The issue has no constitutional bearing in light of its nature," the grand justices said. "It is up to individual parties to decide what they should do with members who fail to obey internal rules." Chiu, 52, was accused of failing to display her ballot during the election of the legislative vice speaker on Feb. 1 in defiance of a party order.

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