Sat, Jan 19, 2013 - Page 1 News List

Ma’s bid for party chief questioned

ONCE IS ENOUGH:A KMT legislator said that the Civil Associations Act and KMT regulations state that the heads of organizations can only be re-elected once

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday brushed off KMT Legislator Alex Tsai’s (蔡正元) opposition to President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) bid for re-election as KMT chairman and said the party would elect its party chief in accordance with party regulations.

Citing the Civil Associations Act (人民團體法), Tsai yesterday said on his Facebook page that leaders of any civil organization, including political parties, should only be re-elected once.

Article 17 of the KMT’s charter also states that the party’s chairperson is to serve a four-year term and can be re-elected once.

Ma was elected KMT chairman in 2005, but resigned in 2007 when he was indicted for allegedly misusing his special allowance during his tenure as Taipei mayor.

The position was filled by Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄), who served as party chairman until 2009.

Ma was acquitted of the corruption charges and was re-elected party chairman in 2009.

Having been re-elected once, Ma should not seek another re-election after finishing his term this year, Tsai said.

“Even if President Ma insisted on seeking another term and won re-election, the election result could be nullified by a court,” he said.

The KMT has said it will hold its party chairperson election in July, with Ma so far being the only party member who has announced his intention to run.

In response to Tsai’s challenges over the legitimacy of Ma’s bid for re-election, KMT spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) said the party would look into the issue, adding that it would hold the election in accordance with regulations.

The Civil Associations Act also states that political organizations have the authority to make their own regulations, which means that the KMT can revise its regulations if necessary.

Calls for Ma to stop seeking re-election are growing amid the president’s low approval rating and public protests over his administration’s performance. New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) recently said that Ma should focus his efforts on cultivating talent and finding a successor.

Ma has started visiting KMT branches around the nation to meet with party delegates in an effort to consolidate support for his re-election bid.

The KMT is also arranging for the president to tour the nation to communicate with party members in forums and other activities to boost his public support.

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