Sat, Jul 31, 2004 - Page 3 News List

KMT moving to take on a more youthful image

By Huang Tai-lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

A youthful image and a more pro-localization stance seem to best characterize those who will benefit from a pending reshuffle of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) personnel.

It is widely assumed that KMT Taipei Councilor Lai Shu-ju (賴素如), 40, will be the new director of the party's Cultural and Communications Affairs Department. The current director, Ho Hung-jung (何鴻榮), has recently been selected by Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to be director of the government's Bureau of Civil Affairs.

KMT Taipei Councilor Chen Yu-mei (陳玉梅), 38, is likely to take over from party Publicity Department director Justin Chou (周守訓), who will run for a legislative seat in December in Taipei City.

Tainan City Councilor Hsieh Long-chieh (謝龍介), 43, known for his pro-localization sentiment, said he had been approached by officials to serve as a deputy to KMT spokesman Alex Tsai (蔡正元), who will be preoccupied with his own re-election campaign.

Tsai confirmed that the KMT is reshuffling its officials and that the new personnel would assume their posts within weeks.

Saying that KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) had issued the criteria for selecting party officials, Tsai added that "all new qualified party officials must be under the age of 40, possess campaign experience and know a foreign language, Taiwanese or Hakka."

Tsai added that using these guidelines the party had drawn up a shortlist of new personnel after approaching prospective candidates to gauge their interest in the posts.

Describing himself as a country boy, Hsieh said the KMT had long been falsely accused of not being pro-localization. He said he would do his best to divest observers of this perception should the party decide to appoint him as a spokesman.

Meanwhile, KMT Secretary-General Lin Feng-cheng (林豐正) and Organization and Development Affairs Director-General Liao Feng-teh (廖風德) yesterday met with the party's new city and county branch managers.

Encouraging them to work hard for the grassroots, Lin and Liao also asked the managers to strengthen party mobilization in preparation for the elections in December.

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