Taiwan's long-serving Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng said yesterday he had no resentment towards the island's president, Ma Ying-jeou, who pushed to kick him out of the ruling Kuomintang.
The decision by the party disciplinary committee on Wednesday to strip Wang of his membership meant he "has already lost his eligibility to serve as a legislator-at-large", Taiwan's semi-official Central News Agency reported, citing a top election official.
The Supreme Prosecutors Office's special investigations division accused Wang last week of lobbying former justice minister Tseng Yung-fu to quash an appeal in a criminal case against Democratic Progressive Party whip Ker Chien-ming. Ma, who is party chairman, criticised him and said he should step down or be kicked out of the KMT.
When asking by reporters if he held any resentment against Ma, Wang replied with his familiar smile: "How could I do that? "[Ma] is not only the leader [of Taiwan], but also the chairman of my party. We should respect whatever he has decided to do."
Taipei's district court heard Wang's request for an injunction to prevent the legislature from deregistering him, but the court had not delivered a decision.
Citing KMT sources, the Central News Agency reported Wang had lost his party membership effective Wednesday, even if he appealed, under party rules amended in 2010.
Liu Yi-chou, vice-chairman of the Central Election Commission, said the election office had relayed the KMT's decision to the Legislative Yuan. The commission will complete the formalities for filling Wang's seat within 15 days after receiving acknowledgement from parliament.
The party's waiting list shows Dr Mignonne Chan Man-jung, an associate professor from Taipei's Tamkang University, is the first candidate in line to replace Wang as a KMT legislator-at-large, while his speakership may be filled by Deputy Speaker Hung Hsiu-Chu.
"That means Wang has a maximum of just 15 days to hold his KMT membership," said Lin Bao-hua, a Taipei-based political commentator also known by his pseudonym, Ling Feng. His chances of overruling the party's decision through the courts was "slim", Lin said
Dr Premier Jiang Yi-huah told his cabinet to maintain close contact with lawmakers despite "a new political situation", CNA reported. His ministers "should rise above party lines", he said.
But one of Ma's spokesmen, the deputy secretary-general of the presidential office, Lo Chih-chi, resigned yesterday. Lo said he had been considering the move for some time, citing "multiple factors" including personal ones, as well as the turmoil over Wang's ousting, CNA reported.