Mon, Jul 26, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Another KMT member to run a wildcat campaign

THINGS FALL APART Whether it's a dysfunctional nomination process or simply a dysfunctional party, the KMT is producing disgruntled ex-members quickly

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Another party member who lost in Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) primaries for the December legislative elections yesterday announced his intention to run in the election at the expense of his party membership.

The declaration of former legislator Fang Yi-liang (方醫良) came yesterday in a series of statements by KMT members who, having lost in party primaries, questioned the fairness of the primary and insisted on running their own campaign in the year-end legislative elections to the detriment of the party's nominees.

Among them are Legislator Tseng Tsai Mei-tso (曾蔡美佐) of the Yunlin constituency, who last Thursday gave up her KMT membership of 42 years and announced she would run in the legislative election as an independent.

`To the very end'

Legislator-at-large Lee Ho-shun (李和順) of the Tainan County constituency and former legislator Chen Long-sheng (陳榮盛) of the Tainan City constituency also have stated their determination to run in the elections "to the very end."

Fang, from the Tainan County constituency, called into question the legitimacy of the primary system's opinion poll and demanded the party reveal what he claimed should have been "the true poll result."

The KMT's primary included two components. The first consisted of votes by party members, which carried a weight of 30 percent.

The second component, a public opinion poll, carried a weight of 70 percent.

This was the first time that such a method had been used in the party's primary to decide who would be recommended for the party's nominations.

authority

In view of some party members' insistence on running despite their failure to secure the party's nomination, some members called on the party to exercise authority and party discipline to get the situation under control, while others urged the party authorities to examine the primary system as a whole for improvement.

"What is the point of holding primaries if the result is that one can run [in the elections] even without the party's nomination?" said KMT Legislator Lee Chuan-chiao (李全教), who successfully secured a party nomination to run in the Tainan County constituency.

Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) who lost the primary in the Taipei City constituency, also criticized the fairness of the primary and said the primary "fails to reflect the true popular opinion of the grassroots."

Others directed their criticism at the party's Huang Fu Hsing (黃復興) branch for the controversial results of the primaries.

Huang Fu Hsing is a special branch of the KMT whose members are military veterans or their family members.

high mobility

Due to the high mobility of the Huang Fu Hsing branch members, Chen said that party members who took part in the primary were mostly members of the branch.

Candidates supported by the branch, as a result, were likely to garner high numbers of votes in the primaries.

Saying that there were big gaps demonstrated in the primaries between the results of the party members' votes and the results of the opinion polls, Chen said that this also illustrated the big gap between party opinion and public opinion.

"The primary has much room for reform and improvement. Otherwise, it will be hard to meet the expectations of the general public," Chen said.

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