Mon, Mar 02, 2009 - Page 1 News List

KMT eases ‘black’ clause

By Wang Yu-chung and Lee Hsin-fang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) recently relaxed its “black exclusion” clause, allowing party members who were involved in trials before Nov. 22 last year but not convicted in the first trial to run in the party’s primary for year-end city and county chief elections.

The party headquarters informed its local chapters of the regulation yesterday — one day before the first-stage primary registration closes — in a last-minute letter.

A party member who opposed the change criticized the party as giving up its last line of defense that would exclude those found guilty in a first trial from being nominated as a party candidate, a regulation that had been implemented since 2001. The member, who wished to remain anonymous, said the party would only tarnish its own image by relaxing the regulation — a move to prevent aspirants in the party from running as independent candidates.

When asked for comment, KMT spokeswoman Chen Shu-rong (陳淑容) yesterday defended the party’s decision, saying it only handed down an “explanation” of the “black exclusion clause” to local chapters.

Chen said the explanation was not a new regulation, adding that the KMT’s extraordinary Party Congress had resolved that the black exclusion clause should not apply retroactively when the congress amended the KMT’s party constitution on Nov. 22 last year.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday criticized the KMT as compromising its own regulations for the year-end elections.

When approached for comment, Tsai said the KMT had described the DPP as a corrupt political party, but the DPP made stricter and better demands of its members’ integrity than the KMT.

“[The KMT’s] compromise now could mean the beginning of a series of compromises,” she said.

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