Court yet to rule on KMT, Wang lawsuit

By Joy Lee ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The High Court yesterday convened over the Kuomintang’s (KMT) counter-appeal against Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng’s (王金平) injunction, during which Presiding Judge Wei Li-chuan suggested a settlement between both parties. Meanwhile, President Ma Ying-jeou said that the KMT will not stop its litigation. During the court session, KMT attorneys and Wang’s legal team debated on whether the injunction, which allows the speaker to temporarily retain his party membership, is necessary or not. KMT attorneys cited a number of international and domestic cases that support their argument, saying that courts should not intervene in a political party’s internal affairs.

One of the KMT attorneys, Lin Ho-min, said that before the Taipei District Court approved Wang’s injunction, Wang had already lost his position as lawmaker; therefore, the injunction should not have been able to allow Wang to keep his position.

“Injunctions are used to protect a person’s private rights,” Lin said. “But what Wang wanted to protect were his positions as lawmaker and legislative speaker, which are identities accorded by public law.”

“Moreover, if any party member can file for an injunction once their memberships are revoked, it will make it difficult for a party to execute its disciplinary powers,” Lin added.

Lee Yung-yu, another member of the KMT’s legal team, said that this case is about a party’s autonomy, which is protected by the constitution, so the public should not view it as a political struggle between Wang and Ma.

Wang’s Argument Wang’s attorney Shiu Ying-chieh said that courts have handled many cases in which party members’ rights were violated, and that the legal system is the only way for these victims to receive help.

“This case is not just about Wang’s rights or his positions. Instead, this is about the nation’s constitutional system and its integrity, so people should not underestimate the case’s influence,” said Shiu. Judge Suggests Settling Case

The presiding judge said that settling the case would be the best course of action for the country.

Wei added that this case is a political affair, which should be solved in a political manner.

“Whether lobbying is right or wrong is (a matter of) universal values and the court will not rule on that,” the judge said.

“Both sides could spend more time focusing on the economy and financial affairs if the case is settled,” Wei said.

Wang’s KMT membership was revoked by the party on Sept. 11, after he was accused by the Special Investigation Division of illegal lobbying on behalf of Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘).

On Sept. 13, the Taipei District Court, however, approved an injunction that allowed Wang to temporarily retain his party membership as well as his positions as lawmaker and legislative speaker.