Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-10-19 02:59 PM
The KMT’s Evaluation and Discipline Committee stripped Wang of his party membership on September 11, but two successive court decisions allowed him to stay on.
Commentators described the removal of the revocation notice from the entrance to the party headquarters as the latest in a series of conciliatory moves by the KMT leadership toward Wang. After the speaker cast his vote with his 64 KMT colleagues against an opposition-backed motion of no confidence against the Cabinet, Premier Jiang Yi-huah personally thanked him. When the ruling party set November 10 for the date of its 19th Congress, it also said it would invite Wang to deliver a report about legislative activities.
KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chung said Saturday the reason for the removal of the revocation notice was simply the fact that the deadline for an appeal against the measure had passed. By October 14, Wang had not filed an appeal because he preferred to go through the courts to seek redress.
The removal of the note Friday morning was not announced to the media and happened without any fanfare, reports said.
Leading KMT figures including Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin welcomed the move. Since last week, government leaders have been emphasizing the need to work on improving the economy and leaving political strife behind.
The KMT power struggle went public on September 6 when prosecutors announced they were investigating Wang for allegedly illegal lobbying with the Ministry of Justice on behalf of top opposition Democratic Progressive Party lawmaker Ker Chien-ming.
Ma, who also serves as KMT chairman, immediately launched an offensive against Wang, saying he was unfit to continue serving as head of the Legislature and encouraging the party committee to expel him.
At the time, Wang was away in Malaysia to attend his daughter’s wedding. When he returned, he described himself as a faithful party member and failed to tender his resignation.
He won court battles over an injunction to stop the revocation of his membership, allowing him to stay on as party member and speaker. Under growing pressure and amid falling opinion poll ratings, Ma dropped plans for another appeal against Wang’s injunction.
At the October 10 National Day celebrations, Ma and Wang met for the first time since the start of the power struggle and presented a harmonious face to the public.
The KMT’s invitation for Wang to attend next month’s Taichung congress was seen as the latest step in the direction of reconciliation between the two rivals who fought each other for the KMT chairmanship in 2006.
While the ruling party tried to mend its fences, separate investigations by prosecutors and by the Control Yuan still continue into the allegations of illegal wiretaps and revelations of confidential information surrounding the case. The Taipei Prosecutors Office has interviewed Ma about the issues, and the Control Yuan said it was likely to do the same.