Taiwan Ruling Party Drops Appeal After Court Halts Expulsion

Taiwan’s ruling party, the Kuomintang, dropped a plan to fight a court ruling halting its expulsion of the parliamentary speaker, who has a separate ongoing legal challenge against his removal.

KMT lawyer Chen Ming said by phone today that the party told him it would not appeal a court injunction to halt Wang Jin-pyng’s expulsion. The party, led by President Ma Ying-jeou, will contest Legislative Yuan President Wang’s separate legal challenge over his party membership, the Taipei-based Apple Daily reported.

Ma, who was re-elected in 2012, is seeking to refocus the island on his policy initiatives after the departure of 10 cabinet ministers from his administration this year. Support in the legislature for his policy goals, including a trade agreement with China and construction on a nuclear power plant, waned under Wang’s leadership.

“Ma is giving some olive branches to Wang,” Liao Da-chi, a director at the Institute of Political Science at the National Sun Yat-sen University, said in a phone interview today. “No matter what the outcome is, it will take years before the final ruling.”

Ma declared Wang, parliamentary speaker since 1999, unfit to lead on Sept. 11 after Wang was allegedly caught on a tapped phone line saying he had intervened in a commercial prosecution against the opposition party whip. Wang was removed from the ruling party and lost his parliamentary post the same day. He sought an injunction from the court and filed a legal challenge against the KMT on Sept. 12.

Wang’s term ends January 2016, when Taiwan elects a new president and new parliament, according to the Central Election Commission.

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