Wed, Mar 16, 2005 - Page 4 News List

May election for KMT head might be postponed to July

CNA , TAIPEI

A proposal to postpone the election of the chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for two months until July will be discussed at the KMT Central Standing Committee meeting today, a KMT official said yesterday.

KMT secretary-general Lin Fong-cheng (林豐正) confirmed that the proposal was made by a party think tank.

The think tank suggested that the election be put off to avoid a clash with the election of the National Assembly, which has been scheduled for May 14, Lin said.

The move is also related to the city and county elections at the end of the year, which Lin said would require more time to coordinate with the People First Party and the New Party.

Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said yesterday that he supported the idea of putting off the election.

Wang, also a KMT vice chairman, said that by doing so the party could focus on the election of representatives to the National Assembly, which will be convened to approve a series of constitutional amendments made last August.

But Wang said that he would announce his candidacy for chairman on Friday as scheduled, and that his campaign would continue despite any postponement.

With Wang about to join the race for party chairman, a KMT official expressed concern that Wang and Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) -- who has also announced his intention to run -- might divide the party since they both carry equal political weight.

Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順), vice executive director of the KMT's Policy Committee, said that rank-and-file members are worried that competition between the two could further split and weaken the party.

She urged KMT Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) to mediate between the two candidates, saying that he has the duty and obligation to do this to ensure a smooth transition.

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