Wed, Mar 30, 2005 - Page 3 News List

KMT submits assembly nominees

NEW BLOOD At a press conference before registering the list, the party took pains to show it values youth and change by emphasizing the 20 nominees under 40

By Caroline Hong  /  STAFF REPORTER WITH AGENCIES

Promising that all of its nominees will vote in accordance with the party's line, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) registered its 160 National Assembly candidates yesterday. The KMT emphasized the inclusion of young party members on the list.

"This year's National Assembly election is very important to the development of democracy in Taiwan," said Liao Feng-te (廖風德), Director of the KMT's Organization and Development Committee.

"Our nominees and the KMT promise to uphold the Constitution of the Republic of China ... not a single vote will deviate from what we have promised," Liao said.

He made the remarks yesterday at a press conference held prior to his trip the Central Election Commission in Taipei to register the party's nominees.

He was accompanied by over 10 young nominees from the KMT's list and the party's candidate for National Assembly Speaker, Chen Chin-jang (陳金讓).

During the press conference, Liao outlined the party's goals for the National Assembly session.

The KMT will uphold the constitutional reforms agreed upon through cross-party negotiations last year, Liao said.

These reforms, he said, include halving the number of seats in the legislature, changing the length of legislators' terms from three years to four, abolishing the National Assembly and instituting a single-member district and two-vote system for future legislative elections.

Liao emphasized that 20 of the KMT's 160 nominees are under the age of 40.

The younger nominees, Lai emphasized, will help infuse new life into the KMT.

Responding to criticism from the pan-green camp about KMT Vice Chairman Chiang Pin-kun's (江丙坤) trip to China, Liao said that as the nation's largest opposition party, the KMT is responsible for and advocates the peaceful development of cross-strait relations.

In contrast, Liao said, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has harmed cross-strait relations and therefore does not look favorably on others' accomplishments in this area.

Chiang and a delegation of 34 other KMT party members left on Monday for a five-day trip to China.

The visit, which is the first official KMT trip to China since 1949, is being made to promote economic relations between Taiwan and China and allow Chiang to represent the party in paying its respects to party founder and Republic of China founding father Sun Yat-sen (孫中山) at monuments to Sun in China.

Given the passage of China's "Anti-Secession" Law earlier this month, the KMT has faced domestic criticism about the timing and purpose of its trip.

According to a report by the television news channel ET Today, after arriving in Guangzhou on Monday afternoon, Chiang and the KMT delegation met briefly with Guangdong's provincial governor Huang Hua-hua (黃華華).

The delegation then visited the Mausoleum of the 72 Martyrs in Huanghuagang in Guangzhou yesterday to pay respects to those who died in a Sun-led uprising in 1911. Delegation members met with representatives of the local Taiwanese business community in the area and with regional leaders such as Chu Cheng-chung (朱振中), Guangzhou City's city council deputy recorder.

According to the KMT, Chiang's delegation will head to Nanjing later today.

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