Fri, Jun 09, 2006 - Page 3 News List

KMT is packing up to move down

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Staff at the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) headquarters yesterday prepare for the party's move to Bade Road.

PHOTO: WANG YI-SUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) began packing up its staff and documents yesterday -- including a 3m-high statue of Sun Yat-sen in the lobby -- in preparation for its downsizing move to Bade Road.

The party sold its big headquarters opposite the Presidential Office Building in March and will officially settle in its new location on Monday. A housewarming party is scheduled for Wednesday.

While admitting to being somewhat reluctant to move, KMT Secretary-General Chan Chun-po (詹春柏) said yesterday that the annual maintenance fees for the new headquarters building -- at NT$8 million (US$245,953) its one-fifth of the current NT$40 million fee -- would help ease the party's financial burdens.

"We do feel sad about leaving this place. But moving from this luxurious building to a plain office is a necessary transition, to demonstrate the KMT's resolve to reform," he said.

Chan said the party will occupy just three floors of its new building -- the basement, first floor and third floor -- and KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has demanded that the remodeling costs not exceed NT$10 million.

Although Ma wants a simple style for the new headquarters, he insisted on taking along the Sun statue -- an important symbol for the party that Ma has always bowed to upon entering the building.

"Without the statue, what should I bow to from now on?" Ma said.

The 12-story building on Zhongshan S Rd was built in 1995. It housed an exhibition room on the first floor, offices on the second to 10th floors, the chairman and vice chairmen's offices on the 11th floor, and meeting and banquet rooms on the 12th floor.

The party sold the site to Evergreen Corp for NT$2.3 billion in March, although the KMT's party history center will continued to be housed in the building.

Evergreen chairman Chang Jung-fa (張榮發) said at the times that his company would use the building for its various cultural foundations and businesses.

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