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March 29, 2017

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Wang Jin-pyng retains his KMT membership: court

TAIPEI -- A Taipei court ruled Wednesday in favor of Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), enabling him to retain his ruling Kuomintang (KMT) membership after the party stripped him of his membership for his role in a high-profile influence-peddling case that came to light last September.

Wang acknowledged the Taipei District Court judges for their work in upholding the rule of law in a democracy and safeguarding human rights.

He also urged both the ruling and opposition parties to concentrate their efforts on boosting public welfare and the economy under the leadership of President Ma Ying-jeou.

Wang's lawyer expressed thanks to the judges for their "just" ruling and for the concern "from all quarters of society" over the past six months.

A lawyer for the KMT expressed bewilderment and regret over the ruling, and said he and the party will study the possibility of filing an appeal.

The KMT stripped Wang of his party membership last September for using his influence to sway decisions in a legal case, a move that could have cost him his job as head of the Legislature, a position he has held since 1999.

But Wang swiftly took legal action, obtaining a court injunction that allowed him to stay in his party and retain his rights as a party member pending a court ruling.

The Taipei court also demanded Wang pay a bond of NT$9.38 million (US$308,402).

Along with the injunction request, Wang filed a civil lawsuit asking the court to confirm the validity of his party membership on the grounds of unfair treatment by the KMT.

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