Sun, Nov 21, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Ex-KMT politician going against the blue camp grain

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER

The legislative race of independent Lin Chin-chang (林晉章) has been marked by media spectacles following his public call on Oct. 1 urging the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to drop its adherence to the "one China" policy and a violent encounter outside the KMT headquarters after his subsequent dismissal from the party on Oct. 27.

While Lin has since continued his calls for the KMT to drop the policy, which advocates eventual unification with China, as part of his campaign strategy, it remains to be seen if the maverick Taipei City councilor will become a member of next year's legislature.

Speaking with the Taipei Times last night, Lin said that he had wanted to run for the legislature ever since he joined the KMT.

"As someone with a legal background, it's natural for me to want to create legislation myself," said Lin, who has a law degree from National Chengchi University.

Lin said he knew the party was unlikely to support his legislative bid, but he decided to run this year anyway.

While it might seem that the party's decision to revoke his membership might be due to his outspokenness, legislative candidate Pan Chien-kuo (龐建國) said that that was not necessarily the case.

"In an area as competitive as the south district, the party needed to draw clear the boundary between Lin and its official candidates for voters, so that his candidacy would not threaten the chances of the KMT's favored nominees," said the People First Party legislator yesterday.

Lin is running in the hotly competitive Taipei City south district, which has thirty candidates vying for its ten legislative seats.

Pan is also hoping for a seat in that district.

It is unlikely that the punitive action was due to Lin's publicized calls for the KMT to drop its adherence to the "one China" policy, said Pan, since at the time of the party's decision, Lin's pleas had not yet received wide media coverage.

Although Lin was not widely known at first, his stance against the "one China" policy has since gained steam with the establishment of his Movement to Abandon the "One China" Policy Alliance.

At the alliance's establishment ceremony in Oct. 24, Lin saw over a thousand people show up to express their support.

It remains to be seen how Lin's candidacy will affect the voting situation in Taipei south .

When asked about his chances, he candidly admitted that things do not seem optimistic.

"According to media polls, I'm anywhere from the number 11 to number 14 in the district, not one of the 10 that will get a seat.

But there's still some time before the election," Lin said.

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