Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-09-13 02:55 PM
Wang has been the target of a campaign by President and Kuomintang Chairman Ma Ying-jeou to remove him from office after allegations he tried to influence prosecutors to drop a case against a top opposition lawmaker.
A KMT discipline committee decided Wednesday to strip him of his party membership, which would eventually lead to the loss of both his speakership position and his seat as a lawmaker.
However, after negotiations on Friday morning, caucuses from ruling camp and opposition agreed that Wang could still serve as speaker. The new legislative session is scheduled to open on September 17 with an address by the premier.
Wang himself presided over the caucus talks and announced that the parties had agreed to let Jiang deliver his report, though he said he would wait and see whether he would be able to chair the opening session himself.
The premier might have said it would be difficult for Wang to continue and serve as speaker, but the latter said he would act according to the legal procedures still in place.
KMT legislative caucus chief whip Lin Hung-chih said the party had not signed a single agreement about what should happen at the opening of the session, but he would still address Wang as the speaker.
If Wang lost his seat, a new election for speaker might have to be held, with his current deputy, KMT lawmaker Hung Hsiu-chu, most likely to be nominated as the official candidate for the ruling party. However, if at least nine KMT lawmakers defected out of sympathy for Wang, Hung could lose the vote, reports said.
Cabinet spokeswoman Cheng Li-wun said that no matter who was the speaker of the Legislative Yuan, the premier and his ministers would visit the Legislature to present their reports and take part in question-and-answer session with lawmakers.
Opposition Democratic Progressive Party chief whip Ker Chien-ming, who was at the core the scandal threatening to take down Wang, said it was more than natural that Wang should chair the opening session.
If the KMT decision to strip him of his party membership succeeded, Wang should still be allowed to serve as an independent speaker, Ker said. Since Wang was elected on an at-large list based on the KMT election result according to proportional representation, his removal from the party would automatically lead to the loss of his seat, making him unable to serve as speaker. The DPP has criticized the KMT for putting party measures above the law.
The Taiwan Solidarity Union said that according to the Constitution, the Legislative Yuan could not spend even one day without speaker, just like it could not have two speakers simultaneously.
The power struggle between Wang and Ma has raised fears that the Legislative Yuan would have trouble in dealing with other key issues, such as the fate of the fourth nuclear plant and the service trade pact with China.
As a result of the KMT infighting, a lawmaker withdrew his proposal for a nuclear referendum question, while DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang announced his withdrawal from a debate with Ma about the service pact originally scheduled for Sunday.