Unite behind Ma, top KMT cadres urge

BICKERING ASIDE::Members of the KMT Central Standing Committee said President Ma Ying-jeou’s re-election bid as party chairman is part of reform and must be supported

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Jan 23, 2013 - Page 1

Amid recent disputes over President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) re-election bid as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman, some KMT Central Standing Committee members called for united party support for Ma, while urging the Ministry of the Interior to explain related regulations to clarify the issue.

KMT Central Standing Committee member Yao Chiang-lin (姚江臨) said the party is undergoing a reform under Ma’s leadership and his doubling as chairman also met with the “party-state” principles that the KMT has always followed, with former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) serving as the party’s chairman for 12 years.

“We should not obstruct President Ma’s reforms of the KMT and such reforms would be better carried out if the president also serves as KMT chairman,” he said.

Yao said the party’s regulations, which state that the party chairman can be re-elected only once, should be more comprehensive, but declined to comment on whether the KMT should revise the regulations in the wake of the disputes over Ma’s situation.

Ma was elected KMT chairman in 2005, but resigned in 2007 when he was embroiled in a corruption case for allegedly misusing his special allowance fund during his tenure as Taipei mayor.

The post was taken over by Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄), who had served as acting chairman and was later elected in a by-election in 2007 to complete the term until 2009, when Ma was found not guilty of graft and was re-elected as party chairman.

The KMT has defended Ma for seeking re-election and denied it had attempted to revise party regulations for Ma.

KMT spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) cited party regulations and said that the party chairman can be consecutively re-elected once.

Because Wu was elected as party chairman in 2007, and Ma was elected in 2009, the president’s re-election bid did not violate the regulations, because he is seeking to serve two terms consecutively, Yin added.

KMT Central Standing Committee member Lee Te-wei (李德維) said the party should ask the ministry to explain related regulations, including the Civil Associations Act (人民團體法) and the Local Government Act (地方制度法), to clarify the dispute.

KMT Legislator Alex Tsai (蔡正元), who last week challenged the legitimacy of Ma seeking a second term as chairman, yesterday denied that Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) was behind the latest anti-Ma campaign within the KMT.

He insisted that Ma’s attempt to seek the party chairmanship for a third time could be in violation of the law and that the legal questions should be handled in a serious manner.

“Political parties’ explanations of the issue will not resolve the legal issue and it’s not right to erase the problem with political tactics. The KMT would face big trouble in the future if any individual filed a lawsuit to nullify the election,” he said yesterday on his Facebook page.