Thu, Feb 16, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Hostesses apply to join KMT en masse

DAMAGE:While chairperson candidates Hau Lung-bin and Steve Chan criticized the spate of mass membership applications, Hu Wen-chi said: ‘All professions are equal’

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin yesterday in Taipei speaks to a group of retired generals at the launch of a support group for his bid to be party chairperson.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

With the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) still reeling from a report alleging 307 membership applicants had backgrounds in organized crime, it was hit with a fresh blow yesterday, as local media outlets reported that it had received a bulk application from hostesses who work at a Taichung nightclub.

An unidentified KMT official had sought to influence the results of the party’s election for KMT chairperson by securing memberships for hostesses of a major nightclub in Taichung, local media outlets reported.

The KMT said that applicants from all walks of life are welcome to join the party as long as the application is submitted in accordance with the party’s regulations.

“All professions are equal. Everyone identifying with the KMT who does not have a criminal background is welcomed,” KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Hu Wen-chi (胡文琦) said.

The party has a rigorous system in place to screen applications submitted in support of individual chairperson candidates, Hu said.

However, some of the candidates criticized such applications.

Mass membership applications have done a great deal of damage to the KMT’s image and the party should set up an investigative committee attended by delegates of the chairperson candidates to assess the purposes of such applications, KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said.

“It costs the party too much if we lose the public’s trust by receiving ‘nominal’ members into the party. Do not harm the party if you love it,” the former Taipei mayor said.

The applications “have greatly hurt the party’s reputation,” and the KMT should establish an application evaluation system to prevent ineligible people from joining the party, former KMT vice chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢) said.

Applicants should have the same political beliefs as the KMT, Chan said, adding that mass applications ahead of the chairperson election might be politically motivated.

In related news, Hau also criticized an announcement by the KMT’s Huang Fu-hsing (黃復興) military veterans’ branch, which reportedly required its members planning to seek candidacy in party representative elections to collect 100 signatures in support of a chairperson candidate.

Although the party allows branch members to collect signatures for any of the chairperson candidates, the move was considered aimed at supporting KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), who is said to have the broadest base of support among branch members.

“Party representatives express the opinions of party members. They are not subordinates of party headquarters. Hung should take immediate action to undo the requirement,” Hau said.

“It is not only a test of the loyalty [of the branch members to Hung], but a step back from democracy,” he said.

Some branch members yesterday launched an organization to campaign for Hau, led by former former branch director Wang Wen-hsieh (王文燮).

At the launch ceremony, Wang said that disunity and indifference among party members had twice cost the KMT presidential elections in which the KMT was defeated by itself, rather than by the Democratic Progressive Party.

The KMT’s ultimate goal is to seek a unified China under the so-called “one China” framework, Wang said.

Hau has put forward proposals to reform the KMT so that it can return to power and bring about “one China,” which would be the Republic of China (ROC), Wang said.

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