Tue, Jun 24, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Ma not considering KMT chairmanship: spokesman

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has no intention of becoming Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman, the Presidential Office said yesterday.

Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said Ma has always believed that party operations must not be mixed up with those of the government.

Ma has made this position clear both before and since the presidential election, Wang said.

“He has never thought of doubling up as party chairman, nor is he considering such an option,” Wang said, adding that Ma would not change his mind simply because of a newspaper report.

DOUBLING UP

Wang made the remarks in response to a report in yesterday’s Chinese-language United Daily News. The report said that some party representatives had been making efforts to amend the party charter so that Ma could double up as party chairman to improve the party’s coordination with the government.

The report said the proposal was brought up now because the KMT was scheduled to hold its national congress on Oct. 11, when it is expected to amend its charter to allow younger party members to participate in politics.

Wang said yesterday that it was unnecessary to “manipulate” the issue and that Ma “would not wish to double up as party chairman” even if the party eventually altered its charter to allow him to do so.

ELECTION RESULTS

Wang said Ma has great respect for KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄), who he said has made a vast contribution to the party by leading it to victory in the legislative elections in January and the presidential poll in March.

While media reports said that Ma had deliberately distanced himself from the party, especially during his recent visits to the south, Wang yesterday said that the trips had been meant to allow Ma to catch up with old friends and better understand the needs of disadvantaged groups.

They were not political or campaign activities, Wang said.

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