The China Post staff
The Kuomintang’s disciplinary committee yesterday decided that four lawmakers should be expelled for failing to follow the party line in last week’s voting on nominations for top government posts. The four mavericks, Chen Chin-ting, Lin Ping-kun, Yang Wen-hsin and Lu Hsin-min, have repeatedly defied party orders since they became lawmakers in February, and therefore should be ousted, the disciplinary committee said. Two other lawmakers, Lin Chin-chun and Lin Nan-sheng, both of whom the KMT’s legislative whip had also wanted to expel, were given two-year suspensions of party rights, the committee said. Chen Kang-chin, head of the disciplinary body, said the decisions will be finalized by the party’s Central Standing Committee today, and that the dissenters could file appeals for one month. The punishments were prompted by the lawmakers’ refusal to follow the KMT’s plan for last week’s voting on President Chen Shui-bian’s nominations for the Examination Yuan, the Control Yuan and the Council of Grand Justices. If the expulsion is upheld, the KMT will lose four seats in the Legislature, crippling its alliance with the People First Party. The two parties currently hold a slim majority of 113 seats in the 225-member Legislature: the KMT has 68 seats and the PFP 45. Before the disciplinary committee met, Yang had already released a press statement announcing his resignation from the KMT. Please see KMT on page
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He said he was disappointed with the power struggle between the political parties and wanted to stay independent.
Both the ruling Democratic Progressive Party and its ally, the Taiwan Solidarity Union, have welcomed the expelled KMT lawmakers to join them. DPP whip Wang To said, “We are raising both arms to welcome them.” But he said further talks would have to be conducted to see whether they would be recruited as formal DPP members, because the matter may involve overlapping constituencies that could fuel rivalry within the party. The TSU said it would be willing to accept anyone who agrees with the party’s ideals. Legislator Liao Peng-yen, the TSU whip for the next legislative session beginning in September, said the caucus was aimed at the four KMT lawmakers who had good ties with the party. But he expressed discontent with the possibility that the KMT mavericks may join the independents. If the independents grew into a substantial force, it would not only harm the ruling party, but also compete with the TSU, Liao predicted.