Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) was noncommittal yesterday on whether he would seek re-relection, but asked the public not to think he has been pushed aside if he chooses not to run.
He did say, however, that it was unlikely that both he and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) would pick up a registration form for the election next Monday.
There has been widespread media speculation that Ma is keen to take over the helm of the party, though he has been equally tight-lipped about his intentions.
Registration for the election opens next Monday and the vote is scheduled for July 26.
Ma paid an impromptu visit to Wu in mid-April, triggering speculation that the president wanted the party leadership to tighten his control over KMT legislators and party affairs.
Ma told reporters after the meeting that he and Wu had agreed last September not to discuss the KMT chairmanship until this month. He asked the public not to dwell on the issue so everyone could focus their efforts on improving the economy.
The remarks were his first public comments on the speculation that he was interested in the party chairmanship.
Wu said yesterday he was more interested in how to be helpful to Ma as well as helping him win the presidency again in 2012.
“Please be patient, we will both make our positions known no later than Monday,” he said. “I will fully cooperate as long as it is good for the whole situation, cross-strait relations, party unity and cooperation between the executive and legislative branches.”
Emphasizing that his heart was at peace, Wu said he met Ma on Saturday to discuss cross-strait affairs and brief him on his recent trip to China. Wu visited Zhongshan Ling (中山陵), Sun Yat-sen’s (孫逸仙) tomb in Nanjing, making it his third visit to the city and his second as KMT leader. This year is the 80th anniversary of Sun’s burial in Nanjing.
Wu said he and Ma would meet again before Monday to discuss the party election.
There is also growing speculation that the KMT will increase the number of honorary chairman to give Wu a post, but Wu said: “We never talked about it, nor has such an idea ever crossed my mind.”
He also dismissed rumors that he had been offered a paid presidential adviser post. Describing the rumor as “a joke,” Wu said he had offered his services free of charge over the past decades and hasn’t been on the party’s payroll while serving as chairman.
Asked if he would give up his post in exchange for the KMT backing his son’s bid to be Taoyuan commissioner, Wu said the issues were unrelated and that the KMT would support his son if his son is a suitable candidate.
The party has a transparent mechanism for selecting its candidates and he has never used his position to interfere in the selection process, Wu said.
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit