The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday expelled 10 Greater Tainan councilors from the party for supporting non-party nominees for city council heads in Saturday’s elections, leaving the KMT with only three members in the council.
The KMT’s Disciplinary Committee said the 10 councilors failed to abide by a party resolution that councilors should vote for themselves in the speaker election, and had therefore been punished.
“The 10 party councilors violated a party resolution and caused great damage to the party’s image and reputation,” committee director Juan Kang-meng (阮剛猛) said.
The KMT had asked 13 party councilors in the city to vote for themselves in the city’s council speaker election as a strategy to prevent the election of independent candidate Wu Chien-pao (吳健保), who was removed from the KMT in February over his indictment on charges of fraud and bribing professional baseball players to manipulate games.
DPP Greater Tainan Councilor Lai Mei-hui (賴美惠) won the speaker seat with 30 votes, but Wu managed to receive 21 votes in the election. Of the 10 KMT councilors whose memberships were revoked, seven voted for Wu, while another three gave their votes to Lai.
The remaining KMT members in the Greater Tainan Council are Hsieh Lung-chieh (謝龍介), Lu Kun-fu (盧崑福) and Lin Yen-chu (林燕祝).
KMT Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) yesterday described the 10 councilors’ failure to obey party regulations as a “betrayal” and said the KMT would train new talent to reconsolidate its base in Tainan if the expelled members refused to cooperate with the party in the future.
“We’ve stated clearly before the election that any violation of party regulations will be given the most severe punishments and we must take disciplinary action [against the 10 members] in order to establish the party’s prestige,” King said in an interview with UFO Radio.
According to KMT regulations, members who are expelled from the party may not submit a membership application for two years. King said the party encouraged the 10 councilors to be cooperative with the party in the council.
As to the KMT’s defeat in the council head election for Taipei City, in which DPP Taipei City Councilor Chou Po-ya (周柏雅) won the vice speaker seat over incumbent deputy speaker Chen Ching-hsiang (陳錦祥) of the KMT by one vote, despite the DPP trailing by eight seats, King acknowledged the party’s lack of a monitoring mechanism to prevent runaway votes in the election and promised not to take disciplinary action against any Taipei City councilors without solid proof.
“The KMT will not do any member an injustice. The party’s Taipei branch decided not to oversee the voting and we respected its decision. We need to accept the outcome and take responsibility,” he said.
Chou became the first-ever DPP member to serve as Taipei City Council deputy speaker after he beat Chen by a 30-to-29 margin in the election. Director of the KMT’s Taipei branch Pan Chia-sen (潘家森) said six of the 30 KMT members did not vote for Chen, but lack of evidence made it difficult to punish them.
Taipei City Council’s KMT caucus on Monday asked all party councilors to prove their innocence by putting their fingerprint on written statements and some even suggested polygraph or fingerprint tests to determine those who violated party directives.