Mon, Nov 02, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Wang Jin-pyng no-show fans Chu conflict rumors

BEHIND THE SCENES:Wang missed his second KMT event in as many days, as the party tries to decide where it is to rank him on its list of legislator-at-large candidates

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Eric Chu, front third right, and Premier Mao Chi-kuo, right, yesterday attend a re-election campaign rally for KMT Legislator Lu Chia-chen, fourth left, in New Taipei City’s Tucheng District.

Photo: Chang An-chiao, Taipei Times

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng’s (王金平) unexpected no-show at a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative candidate’s campaign event yesterday has fanned speculation that Wang’s dissatisfaction with the remaining uncertainty over where he is to rank on the party’s list of candidates for at-large legislators has caused tension between him and KMT presidential candidate and Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫).

Wang has seemed reluctant to campaign for KMT candidates over the past few months, saying that uncertainty over whether he has the right to a fourth term as a legislator-at-large means “he has not been given any title that allows him to do so.”

While the KMT’s Central Standing Committee on Wednesday sought to resolve the issue by passing a motion that exempts KMT legislators-at-large who double as legislative speaker from the party’s self-imposed three-term limit, debates remain within the party on where Wang should rank on the party’s at-large list for the Jan. 16 legislative election.

KMT lawmakers siding with Wang have urged the party to offer him the top spot on the list, while some members have accused the KMT of bending rules for a single member and insisted that Wang should be placed 10th.

Wang was scheduled to attend the opening of KMT Legislator Lu Chia-chen’s (盧嘉辰) campaign headquarters in New Taipei City’s Tucheng District (土城) at 10am, 10 minutes after Chu was due to arrive.

The apparent effort to create a sense of party solidarity at the event — which was attended by Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國) and a number of KMT lawmakers — fell apart when Wang announced he would not attend.

It was the second time in two days that Wang has abruptly pulled out of a campaign activity that would have placed him and Chu together, after he failed to appear at an event held by KMT legislative candidate Lin Chiang-chuan (林江釧) in Chiayi County on Saturday.

Dismissing rumors of strained relations, Chu said Wang is and would continue to be the KMT’s top choice of leader of the legislature.

“I believe Wang cares very much for the party’s legislative candidates. Do not worry. Speaker Wang must campaign for them in his own style and at his own pace,” Chu said.

Asked how high Wang would be placed on the KMT’s list of legislator-at-large candidates, Chu said a consensus has been reached among party members, of which Wang is aware.

“Although we still have to respect the nomination evaluation committee’s decisions, our disposition is clear: We would like Wang to be the KMT’s first choice of legislative speaker in the future,” Chu said.

While expressing respect for decisions made by Wang and party headquarters, Lu yesterday urged KMT heavyweights to unite and look at the bigger picture to prevent the party from falling victim to ridicule.

“The party only has hope when its members are united and working to build consensuses,” Lu said.

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