Taipei: Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou Wednesday asked Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng to step down for his alleged involvement in a lobbying scandal.
Wang was no longer suitable to head the legislative body, said Ma at a press conference held before the ruling party Kuomintang`s (KMT) disciplinary meeting Wednesday, reported Xinhua.
Later in a meeting, the KMT decided to withdraw Wang`s party membership.
If the KMT neither expels nor dismisses Wang from his post, the authority of justice and law would be further undermined, said Ma.
Last week, investigators from Taiwan`s procuratorial agency said Wang was suspected of lobbying Tseng Yung-fu, then head of the island`s justice authority, for prosecutors to not appeal in a case involving Ker Chien-ming, a senior lawmaker of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, to facilitate his acquittal.
Tseng resigned soon after the news broke out.
Wang denied the accusations Tuesday.
The president said he was disappointed with Wang`s response and was "left with no option but to step forward to face a cardinal issue of right and wrong".
However, Wang stated, he did telephone Tseng and Taiwan`s chief prosecutor, but the calls were only made to remind them of legislative body decisions on efforts to curb abuse of prosecutors` powers to appeal.
He also questioned the means of collecting evidence through wiretapping.
Wang warned that a partial conviction may jeopardise party unity or even cause the party to fall apart.
In response to Wang`s call for party unity, Ma said this unity should be based on integrity, diligence and care for people.