Legislature to pick new Discipline Committee members
By Katherine Wei ,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Legislative Yuan will begin the process of electing new members of its Discipline Committee, which will be tasked with reviewing allegations of corruption by Ker Chien-ming, when it establishes a group of conveners today.
September 23, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
Discipline Committee regulations call for 16 members from the Legislature's eight standing committees to form a convener group after the legislative session begins. After a vote, the group will be split, with two groups of eight members alternating monthly as standing members of the committee.
After the members are announced, the committee will begin working on its first case: Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus whip Ker Chien-ming's (柯建銘) involvement in an allegedly illegal influence-peddling case, in which he reportedly was recorded in a wiretapped conversation asking for Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jyn-ping's (王金平) assistance in regards to a lawsuit.
As the Legislators' Conduct Act states that it is illegal for legislators to lobby or influence judicial cases in any way, Ker and Wang's alleged actions ultimately resulted in a probe conducted by the Discipline Committee.
Ker submitted an application for a probe last Tuesday, soon after the start of the new legislative session, indicating that he wished to prove his readiness for investigation and punishment if the lobbying claims were found to be true. He also criticized the all-Kuomintang (KMT) makeup of the previous committee, arguing that such a homogenous ideological composition would hinder impartial judgment.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wu Ping-jui (吳秉叡) expressed his hope that the committee would allow Ker and others involved in the lobbying sufficient time to explain their actions. Wu also called for a transparent investigation of the case, stressing that the probe should be broadcast by local media outlets for the nation to see.
“The probe should be fair, but it is up to the Discipline Committee to determine if the procedure should be broadcast,” said KMT Legislator Lin De-fu (林德福).
The probe should be open for the public to observe, and should be transparent in order to maintain the committee's credibility, indicated DPP Legislator Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟).
The four possible punishments the committee may issue if the accusations are found to be true are a spoken apology, a written apology, a suspension from the legislative session for four to eight months and a suspension of authority for three to six months.