Sun, Aug 05, 2007 - Page 3 News List

KMT to back Wang as speaker

A TEST OF LOYALTY While some party members accuse Wang of being too close to the pan-green camp, he argues that what is good for the country must come first

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Secretary-General Wu Den-yi (吳敦義) said yesterday that the party would follow Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung's (吳伯雄) directives on Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng's (王金平) intention to seek re-election as legislative speaker.

Although the party has yet to begin the nomination process for legislators-at-large, Wu Den-yi said the chairman represented the whole party and as such the KMT would prepare for the nomination as per Wu Poh-hsiung's decision.

"We will do whatever Chairman Wu says," the secretary-general said in Legislative Yuan yesterday.

Wang confirmed late on Friday that Wu Po-hsiung had invited him to run for next legislative speaker for the KMT.

Wang also dismissed questions regarding his loyalty from within the party.

Wang's loyalty has been called into question by some pan-blue camp supporters, mostly as a result of his good relations with the pan-green camp and because he is considered to be a member of the "pro-localization" camp within the KMT.

Wang said on Friday he had set a record by winning 218 votes out of 225 when he ran for re-election as legislative speaker five years ago.

"I should not be criticized for being disloyal [to the KMT] just because I helped push bills proposed by the pan-green camp. Any bill that is beneficial to the country and its people should clear the legislature smoothly," he said, adding that whatever decisions he made were for the KMT's own good.

KMT Deputy Secretary-General Liao Feng-de (廖風德), who also serves as the director of the party's development and organization committee, said yesterday that the committee, which is responsible for mobilizing members during elections, had not been informed about the chairman's decision regarding Wang.

"We had no idea. Legislators-at-large should only serve one term, unless the legislator excelled at the legislature," Liao said at KMT headquarters.

Liao said that members who sought to become legislators-at-large should register with the party's nomination committee. The central committee members will then hold a vote to decide on the final candidates.

Even if Wang successfully won a legislator-at-large seat, the KMT would have to win a majority in the legislature before Wang could be re-elected as legislative speaker, Liao said.

"The most important thing for the KMT at present is campaigning for the elections, not the legislative speaker issue," he said.

Additional reporting by Flora Wang

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