Tue, Jan 26, 2016 - Page 3 News List

New Party’s Yok not eligible for KMT chairman race

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Citing party regulations, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Secretary-General Lee Shu-chuan (李四川) yesterday said that New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) cannot join the KMT chairmanship by-election in March.

“Under the KMT’s election regulations, Yok is not entitled to vie for the KMT chairmanship, but he is welcome to bring his party comrades back to the KMT,” Lee said at KMT headquarters in Taipei yesterday morning.

He made the comment after outlining the details of the March 26 by-election, in response to the Chinese-language China Times interview with the 75-year-old Yok, published on Sunday, in which Yok said that the New Party National Committee had passed a resolution on Saturday endorsing his effort to enter the KMT race.

Lee said that KMT regulations stipulate that only party members who have served as members of the Central Advisory Committee or Central Committee are allowed to vie for the chairmanship.

Yok told the newspaper that his joining the by-election would be significant for two reasons.

“The first one is the unity of pan-blue parties, which is what former KMT chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) had urged before the Jan. 16 presidential and legislative elections,” the newspaper quoted Yok as saying.

There is no point in differentiating between the KMT and the New Party or the People First Party (PFP) at a time when both the KMT and the Republic of China (ROC) have been defeated, he told the paper.

The second significance is that his bid for the KMT’s top post would be a test of the KMT leadership’s sincerity in seeking pan-blue political unity, said Yok, who quit the KMT more than two decades ago.

The most important task facing the KMT now is not the by-election, or changing its name or pushing for internal reforms, but eliminating all KMT members who do not share “the soul of the party,” which is safeguarding the ROC’s core values, he said.

The New Party was established in 1993 by Yok and several other KMT members who opposed then-KMT chairman and president Lee Teng-hui’s (李登輝) localization policy.

The PFP was founded by James Soong (宋楚瑜) in 2000 after he lost his bid for the presidency. He had run as an independent after failing to win the KMT’s nomination and his decision to enter the race led the KMT to expel him on Nov. 17, 1999. Soong has been the PFP’s chairman since the party’s founding.

The Grassroots Alliance, a group of younger, pro-reform KMT members, yesterday criticized Yok.

“Is Yok suggesting that only those who agree with his ideas can be deemed to share the KMT’s soul, while those who take issue with them should leave the party? If Yok is that good at leading a party and his ideas are as widely recognized as he believes, how come the New Party only received 4.1 percent of the party votes in the Jan. 16 elections?” the group said in a statement.

Yok’s complicated links with corporations and government officials have long been a matter of contention and his perceived support for rapid unification is the sole reason why most Taiwanese distrust the New Party, it said.

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