Tue, Aug 31, 2004 - Page 3 News List

New KMT group vows `crystal integrity'

CNA , TAIPEI

KMT legislators Apollo Chen, second right, Cho Po-yuan, first right, and Lee Chia-chin, second left, cofounders of the ``Taiwan New Hope Link,'' join hands. Legislator Chang Zu-kang, first left, joins them.

PHOTO: WANG MIN-WEI, TAIPEI TIMES

A new subgroup of the opposition Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) comprised of "young reform-minded lawmakers with high educational backgrounds and crystal integrity" will be inaugurated Sept. 2 to serve as a "clear stream" in Taiwan's politics.

KMT Legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖), one of the three co-founders of the group, tentatively named the "Taiwan New Hope Link," said that the group has set several major objectives as their immediate tasks, including pushing for intra-party reforms and keeping a closer eye on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-ruled administration.

Chen said the group's first goal will be to tackle the KMT's nomination system for legislative elections, the next of which will be held this December.

Chen said that the Taiwan New Hope Link, which is expected to be comprised of 15 KMT legislators representing each of the major constituencies nationwide, will propose to the KMT decisionmaking body that the nomination of the party's legislators-at-large should be more open, to allow more KMT members to voice their opinions on the selections.

He claimed that the existing nomination mechanism -- the KMT decision-making body first draws up a recommended shortlist of candidates which is then passed by a vote of KMT Central Committee members -- is not only partial, but also lacks the "spirit of democracy."

Chen said the Taiwan New Hope Link will suggest that elected representatives, like all KMT legislators, be allowed to have a say in the nominations to better reflect the wishes of all KMT members and supporters.

Legislator Lee Chia-chin (李嘉進), another co-founder of the KMT subgroup, noted that the potential KMT legislator-at-large nominees should be given a "test run" by speaking in a platform presentation so that all KMT members as well as voters can better understand their stances on a variety of issues.

Legislator Cho Po-yuan (卓伯源), the third co-founder, said that on the shortlist of KMT legislators-at-large there should be representatives from more groups and from more walks of life, to deepen the "essence of representation."

Members of the soon to be established Taiwan New Hope Link will have an average age of 42 and will each have more than 10 years' experience in politics, Chen said.

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