Thu, Feb 17, 2005 - Page 3 News List

Wang hints at run for KMT chair

PARTY POLITICS While the legislative speaker has not yet said whether he will contest for the position, he spoke of the benefits of one person holding both posts

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

While praising Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) as an "important asset" of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) stressed again that the possibility for party reform would increase if the legislative speaker could double as party chairman.

When reporters asked Wang, also a KMT vice chairman, about whether the upcoming the chairman election was a struggle between him and Ma, he said that harmony within the party was the most important thing.

"Whether I run in the election or not, I'll show respect toward Mayor Ma, and I will protect him to a great degree because he is an important asset of KMT's, and we should cherish him," Wang said.

But Wang also said that it was "unnecessary" to hold a meeting with Ma.

"Right now one person has announced his intention to run [for the chairmanship], but the other person's intention is unknown. What is to be talked about?" Wang said.

Wang also said that the chairmanship election should not be considered connected to the 2008 presidential campaign.

"There are still a few years left before the next presidential election, and there could be significant changes before that. Those who want to run for the chairmanship should not link the that election with the presidential election," he said.

While praising Ma, Wang also tried to elevate his own campaign.

"The KMT has been trying to conduct party reform so that party policies can be decided by the legislative caucus instead of the party headquarters. However, the reform could not be realized in the past decade," Wang said.

"If there is an opportunity for the legislative speaker to double as the party chairman, we could make that reform a reality," he said.

Wang also addressed the pan-green camp's contention that the speaker should not double as a party chairman, and said the two roles did not conflict.

"The Legislative Yuan's internal regulations do not say that the speaker cannot participate in politics or decision-making other than the legislature's affairs," Wang said.

Earlier in the morning the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus said that if the speaker was also a party chairman this would interfere with his impartiality in legislative affairs, and the caucus hoped Wang would deal with the problem first before considering running for the chairmanship.

"If Wang doubles as the KMT chairman, his other role will interfere with legislative impartiality. As the speaker, Wang represents the Legislative Yuan as a whole, so he also represents the DPP caucus and the Taiwan Solidarity Union caucus to some degree," DPP caucus whip Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said.

"But if Wang doubles as party chairman, he may ignore other caucuses' stances when he speaks in public, and he really has to deal with this possible problem before running for the chairmanship," Lai said.

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