Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday called for a more inclusive decisionmaking mechanism in the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), urging the party’s chairman, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), to value opinions from local government heads and enhance communications within the KMT.
“The situation is difficult for the KMT, and it is important for the party to understand public opinion and improve its communication with local members,” Hau said at the launch ceremony for the University of Taipei.
Seen as one of the KMT’s top politicians at the heart of a power struggle for the post-Ma era, Hau’s comments drew attention to Ma’s small decisionmaking circle.
The call for Ma and the KMT to include local government heads in the party’s decisionmaking system also reflected members’ concerns about its performance in next year’s seven-in-one local elections.
Since Ma became KMT chairman in 2005, the power of the party’s highest decisionmaking body — the Central Standing Committee — has been weakened because Ma finalizes party policies in a weekly meeting with top party officials.
Internal challenges to Ma’s leadership amid his record-low approval ratings have prompted the president to defend both his performance and the need for him to double as KMT chairman.
Hau said the party should invite local government heads to double as vice chairmen and thoroughly review its decisionmaking mechanism.
“I believe Chairman Ma will lead the party out of difficult situations, and all party members should be united in giving him their full support,” he said.
Meanwhile, in an interview with UDN TV yesterday, Ma said he has been considering systematic reforms in the KMT, and welcomed Hau’s suggestion about local government heads.
“The KMT is not an autarchic party, and welcomes all the opinions. We want more communication channels within the party, and systematic reform will begin soon,” he said.
Ma, who was re-elected party chairman last month, shrugged off concerns about his small decisionmaking circle, and insisted that the party has set up a communication platform with the legislative branch to seek consensus in pushing major government policies.