Thu, Dec 28, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Ma focusing on party reform, 2008 election

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) presented his vision and resolutions for regaining power in 2008 yesterday, but a group of legislative aides urged him to act on his reform agenda by ousting Keelung's mayor first.

The "567 Alliance," a group of younger KMT members, showed up at the party's Central Standing Committee (CSC) to urge Ma to take a more positive stance about initiating a recall motion against Keelung Mayor Hsu Tsai-li (許財利), a former KMT member.

The alliance, which met with violent opposition from members of the KMT's Keelung branch when they were collecting signatures for the recall motion last week, had planned to give Ma a train ticket to Keelung so he could show support for their drive by visiting the city. However, they decide not to confront Ma and sent the ticket to his office instead.

"People were busy with the meeting, and so we decided to send the ticket instead," alliance member Cheng Shi-yu (程詩郁) told the Taipei Times.

Hsu, who has been sentenced to seven years in prison for corruption, has refused to resign.

"Chairman Ma, reform is not an announcement in an air-conditioned room, and not some emotional talk about how angry you are," the alliance said in a written statement.

"The threshold for proposing the Keelung recall motion is signatures from 5,847 persons. How difficult could getting that number be?" the statement continued.

Ma did not make any comments on the alliance' s move, but told the CSC about his plans for party reform and visions for the future.

He pledged to resolve the party assets problem by next June and said the party would not operate any businesses once the asset problem was removed.

As the biggest opposition party, Ma said the KMT should seek to form "an alliance" with the People First Party as soon as possible.

To make the KMT a more efficient organization, Ma said there would be a personnel reshuffle and staff positions might be cut from 900 to 600.

Ma vowed to lead the party to regain power in 2008 and to work to improve economic ties with China.

KMT Legislator Lin Hung-chih (林鴻池) and other lawmakers said after the meeting that the party should back Ma on a presidential ticket with Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) for the 2008 presidential election.

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