Taipei City Mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as a vice chairman of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), said yesterday that the new chairman of the party must be capable of leading the KMT in the year-end mayoral and county chief elections so it can win back its dominance.
Ma, a candidate for the KMT chairmanship, said that regardless of who wins the chairmanship election slated for July 16, that person must be capable of first leading the KMT to winning at least half of the 23 counties and cities in the year-end elections for county and city chiefs.
"This is a prerequisite to becoming a KMT chairman hopeful," Ma said, adding that if the hopeful cannot do it, he should not run.
Ma also noted that the year-end mayoral and county chief elections are just one round of several elections that will be held in the years leading up to the 2008 presidential election, saying that the KMT should win every election over the following three years, including the legislative elections in 2007.
Retake the presidency
Ma's opponent in the race for the KMT chairmanship, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (
At a campaign meeting with KMT leaders in Taitung, Wang said that five years after the Democratic Progressive Party took power, the country is still beset by financial problems, stagnant ties with China and confrontation among the various ethnic groups.
The only way for the country to weather these problems, Wang said, is for the KMT to win back power.