The push for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (
Yesterday was a busy morning at KMT headquarters in Taipei, with both Yunlin County Council Speaker Chen Ching-hsiu (
"I have already begun a collection of signatures, and the deposit needed for registration is not a problem," Chen said, adding that he planned to register Lien as a candidate in the next couple of days.
In an embarrassing development for Ma Ying-jeou, Ma Ho-ling urged Lien to run for another term as chairman.
Ma Ho-ling said that his son "has no experience" in party operations, and that only Lien could unite the pan-blue camp.
In response, Ma Ying-jeou yesterday said that he respected his father's opinion, but planned to continue with his campaign for the party chairmanship.
Chen said he had collected between 30,000 and 50,000 signatures for Lien's bid and that the required deposit had already been dealt with. However, Lien's "agreement" to run had not yet been "settled," he said.
According to KMT regulations, party members who wish to run in the July 16 chairmanship race must deposit NT$1 million with the party and deliver a petition with the signatures of at least 3 percent of the party membership -- or a minimum of 33,000 signatures.
Chen did not say if he was optimistic about "receiving Lien's authorization" to go ahead with the registration, but he did say that he was in contact with Lien's office and that there should be "no problem."
However, he said, Lien was still standing by his previous statements that he had no intention of running.
In attempting to register Lien for the election, Chen said that he was bringing the voice of the people to the KMT headquarters.
While Lien has said on numerous occasions that he has no plans to run, supporters have argued that only Lien can unite the KMT. They contend that a contest between KMT vice chairmen Ma and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (
Only if Lien continues as chairman, they say, will the KMT be able to win the 2008 presidential election.
There was a net reduction last year in the number of Taipei residents and this year is expected to set a 23-year high for population decline in the city, Ministry of the Interior statistics released yesterday showed. From January to last month, 18,861 more people moved out of Taipei than moved into the capital, an increase of 7,000 from the same period last year, the data showed. That is a 7.2 percent decrease in the city’s population since the start of the year, the biggest drop in both percentage and total number among all municipalities and counties nationwide, the data showed. The data
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