Thu, Aug 30, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Ma Ying-jeou attempts to end KMT power struggle

PARTY PEACEMAKER The KMT presidential candidate came out in support of the legislative speaker and called for unity ahead of elections

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

In an effort to end party infighting, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday voiced his support for Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and urged party members to make unity a priority.

Ma shrugged off demands from some within the the party that Secretary-General Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and Deputy Secretary-General Liao Feng-de (廖風德) be fired and denied that Wang was planning a presidential bid.

A number of KMT members in Kaohsiung, Hsinchu and other cities and counties signed a petition last week to have Wu and Liao removed from their positions as they accused the two of attempting to seize Wang's position.

"Speaker Wang and I both agree that the party can't afford any conflicts," Ma said after attending a breakfast meeting with party members in Taipei.

Acknowledging that the party faced challenges, Ma said unity was the key to victory in next year's legislative and presidential elections.

"Everyone should forget about their personal agendas and look at the bigger picture. Even a united KMT cannot take victory in the elections for granted. A divided party will find it even more difficult," he said.

Meanwhile, KMT Central Standing Committee members Yao Chiang-lin (姚江臨) and Chu Fong-chi (朱鳳芝) called on the party to declare its support for Wang to help resolve the conflict.

KMT Legislator Hsu Chung-hsiung (徐中雄), however, said the party should focus on the legislative election before discussing Wang's position in the legislature.

Ma has gone on record as saying he supports Wang's reelection as legislative speaker. However, Wu and Liao later said that Wang should list his achievements and follow party procedures by competing for the party's nomination.

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