- POSTED: 06 Oct 2013 21:18
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Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has scrapped plans to appeal a court decision allowing the island's legislative speaker -- who is facing claims of influence-peddling -- to keep his job, reports and officials said Sunday.
TAIPEI: Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou has scrapped plans to appeal a court decision allowing the island's legislative speaker -- who is facing claims of influence-peddling -- to keep his job, reports and officials said Sunday.
The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) expelled Wang Jin-pyng from the party and removed him from his post after he was accused of leaning on prosecutors involved in a court case against a member of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Ma said Wang was "unfit" to head the legislature after alleging that the 72-year-old had tried to influence the outcome of the graft case against DPP party whip Ker Chien-ming.
Wang, a KMT heavyweight known for his support amongst the grassroots, sought a provisional injunction to allow him to keep his party membership and continue as speaker, which was granted last month by Taipei district court.
The KMT, led by Ma, appealed that decision but the high court dismissed it last week.
The party then said they would appeal to the Supreme Court but spokesman Yin Wei was quoted Sunday as saying the leadership had decided not to do so.
"There have been concerns about 'political stability' since the incident surfaced and some urging not to appeal," the spokesman cited Ma as saying, according to local media.
A KMT official confirmed the decision to AFP but would not elaborate.
Wang's removal sparked fears of a split within the party in a deepening political scandal that has already seen two top government officials, including the justice minister, resign.
Despite the u-turn, the KMT will continue an ongoing civil lawsuit against Wang to solve the issue of his party membership, a move some say is symbolic as it may run until Wang's term expires in 2016.
Ma's popularity has taken a severe hit in the wake of a series of scandals culminating with the accusations against Wang.
Prosecutors admitted last week that they had tapped lawmakers' phones while investigating Ker's case.
The prosecutors insisted the wire tapping was legal, but the DPP compared it to the Watergate scandal in the United States that resulted in the resignation of then-president Richard Nixon in 1974, and demanded Ma step down.