A resolution passed by the Chinese Nationalist Party's (KMT) Central Standing Committee on Wednesday has upset its People First Party (PFP) allies.
The new resolution bars KMT members, except for the party's chairman and vice chairmen, from campaigning for PFP candidates.
The ban applies to the year-end mayoral elections in Kaohsiung and Taipei, unless negotiations lead to the KMT backing the PFP's candidates in those races.
There has been speculation that the resolution was aimed at preventing Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) from stumping for PFP Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) if Soong runs for Taipei mayor.
Wang has recently praised Soong, who is believed to be planning to declare his candidacy for the Taipei race soon.
Soong is scheduled to publish a new book today and Wang has said that he would attend the book launch because he promised Soong that he would.
Wang said yesterday that the book's publication was a cultural event, and had nothing to do with the upcoming election, adding that Soong has not yet declared his candidacy.
"As a loyal KMT member, I will certainly respect and abide by the party's regulations and will not break them. Anyway, they [the rules] are reasonable," he said.
Wang, however, did appear to be a little piqued about the KMT's latest resolution.
He said that "it was a bit strange" that the new rule does not apply to some people.
Former Environmental Protection Administration chief Hau Lung-bin (
However, the PFP has been urging the KMT to consider supporting Soong running on behalf of the pan-blue camp.
PFP caucus whip Lu Hsueh-chang (
"If the KMT still considers PFP members part of the pan-blue camp, it should express its goodwill and communicate with Soong on [the Taipei race] rather than always trying to force him into a corner," Lu said.
"Every time the KMT needs the PFP it appeals for `pan-blue cooperation,' but when the KMT doesn't need the PFP, it spares no effort to squash the PFP," he said.