Speaker hits back over lobbying claims
By Joy Lee ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) yesterday vehemently denied allegations of illegal lobbying and accused the Special Investigation Division (SID) of violating the constitution.
September 11, 2013, 12:11 am TWN
Over 1,000 people, including Deputy Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) and some Kuomintang (KMT) and Taiwan Solidarity Union legislators, waited in an airport lobby last night to welcome Wang upon his return from his daughter's wedding in Malaysia.
Wang said that while in Malaysia he called President Ma Ying-jeou and told him that he did contact former Justice Minister Tseng Yung-fu (曾勇夫) but not to lobby on behalf of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘). Instead, Wang said, he cautioned Tseng against the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office (高檢署) abusing its authority by appealing court verdicts.
Ker was found not guilty in a breach of trust case earlier this year and allegedly asked for Wang and Tseng's help to dissuade prosecutors from filing an appeal against the verdict.
“My personal reputation and my family's have been ruined by the SID's accusations,” said Wang.
“The SID is only authorized to investigate the heads of the Control, Legislative, Executive, Judicial, and Examination Yuans in corruption cases. The SID illegally investigated and monitored this case, as is it not related to corruption.”
Wang said that the SID violated the R.O.C. Constitution and the Organic Act of the Court.
“I do not accept these accusations, which are based on illegal investigations,” said Wang.
“I have worked very hard for the KMT. No matter what challenges or difficulties the KMT has encountered over the years I have always been loyal to the party and done my best with whatever the KMT head passed on to me.”
Disciplinary Committee Should Be Prudent: Wang
Wang said that the party's Evaluation and Disciplinary Committee should not repeat the mistakes the SID made, including of using illegally acquired evidence when it holds a disciplinary meeting today. Doing so would weaken solidarity within the KMT, the speaker warned.
“Our supporters will not be able to accept it if the KMT begins tearing itself apart over this case.”
Wang said that the Evaluation and Disciplinary Committee has not invited him to make a statement at today's meeting. If given the chance, however, he would definitely do so, Wang said.
“I hope the committee can use its wisdom and refer to the truth to make a fair and reasonable decision,” he said.
Wang's comments were the first he had made publicly since the SID accused him of contacting Tseng on behalf of Ker to demand that prosecutors not appeal against a not-guilty verdict handed to the DPP caucus whip.
According to local media, Ma and Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) stayed in the Presidential Office to watch Wang make his statements.
Wang's Possible Punishment
The KMT is intent on ejecting Wang from the party regardless of his response to the scandal, according to a source in the party.
If Wang is given the boot from the KMT, it would result in him losing his seat as legislator-at-large and his position as speaker
Deputy Speaker Hung, who is reportedly set to be appointed by the KMT to take over as speaker, would refrain from turning to police power in the position, the source said.
Hung will not necessarily consider ordering police assistance even in the case of opposition lawmakers trying to forcibly take control of the rostrum, as this will not help settle any legislative arguments, the source said.