Thu, Jul 16, 2015 - Page 1 News List

KMT expels five vocal critics of party

PARTING SHOT:Legislator Chi Kuo-tung claimed he was a ‘weed’ that the party wanted to eradicate, adding that Eric Chu had left the KMT in a ‘pathetic state’

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter

Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu, front second left, visits a market in Kaohsiung yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) will not tolerate members “waving a blue flag to oppose the blue flag,” (打著藍旗反藍旗) KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) said yesterday after five vocal critics of the party were unexpectedly kicked out.

“There are a few members who have repeatedly criticized the party in public, against the consensus of senior party members that the party has to stay united to win the elections [in January],” Chu told the party’s Central Standing Committee at its weekly meeting.

Chu was adapting the phrase “waving a red flag to oppose the red flag,” which refers to those who pretended to adhere to Mao Zedong’s (毛澤東) teachings, but actually tried to oust him during China’s Cultural Revolution.

“It is unacceptable for party members to wave a blue flag to oppose the blue flag,” Chu said.

Chu’s statement came after Legislator Chi Kuo-tung (紀國棟), Taipei City Councilor Lee Ching-yuan (李慶元), former Taipei City councilor Yang Shih-chiu (楊實秋), former legislator Chang Sho-wen (張碩文) and alternative Central Committee member Lee Po-jung (李柏融) were expelled from the party.

The KMT’s Central Evaluation and Disciplinary Committee called a meeting yesterday morning to revoke the memberships of the five party members. The Central Standing Committee approved the resolution in the afternoon.

Chu said the party “had no choice but to” exert the disciplinary measures because the five had launched “malicious attacks” on the party, “even trying to divide the KMT.”

From past experience, it is evident that “a divided KMT can never win,” Chu said, adding that senior party members whom he recently visited — including former KMT chairmen Lien Chan (連戰) and Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄), and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) — told him that the KMT has to stay united to win the elections.

The expulsion of the five came four days ahead of the party’s national congress on Sunday at which the KMT is to officially decide whether Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) will be its presidential candidate.

At last week’s Central Standing Committee meeting, Chu had countered those who have quit or plan to quit the KMT, with some citing Hung’s stance on cross-strait relations, saying their moves have more to do with their own nominations than whether Hung would secure the presidential nomination.

“The central mission of the national congress should be to bring together the party to win the presidential and legislative elections,” Chu said yesterday.

Lee Po-jung — who had said he would propose at Sunday’s congress that Hung’s nomination be voted on, as opposed to the previous practice in which a candidate only needed to gain applause to be handed the nomination — yesterday said that he was “disappointed” that the KMT had expelled those “who tell the truth” about the party.

“I will be attending the national congress to exercise my rights and obligations as a member. The KMT was not democratic enough, as it used its own discretion to revoke my membership without giving me a chance to explain myself,” Lee Po-jung said.

The KMT said in a statement that Lee Po-jung had committed “a grave violation of party discipline” by attempting to sue Chu, KMT Secretary-General Lee Shu-chuan (李四川) and Hung for forgery and fraud, questioning the authenticity of the signatures that Hung collected to back her candidacy during the first stage of the party’s presidential primary.

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