Sun, Feb 08, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Wu calls for KMT unity during primary for by-election

STICK TOGETHER:The party chairman said party unity should be the priority as the KMT chooses a candidate for former legislator Diane Lee’s seat

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) yesterday called for party unity after internal disputes erupted among hopefuls for the party’s primary for the by-election to fill the seat left vacant by former KMT legislator Diane Lee (李慶安).

The KMT will choose its candidate from six hopefuls at the primary today. The candidate will represent the party in the by-election next month.

Amid the competition for the candidacy, KMT Taipei City councilor Ching Li-fang (秦儷舫), a primary hopeful, accused rival, KMT Taipei City Councilor Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) of bribing voters at a dinner party last week. Lin denied the accusations and filed a defamation lawsuit against Ching.

Wu yesterday declined to comment on Lin’s alleged bribery, but urged the hopefuls to place party unity as the top priority.

“Voters in Taipei City set high standards for candidates. Winning the primary is important, but hopefuls should not damage personal reputations in the process,” Wu said yesterday after attending a lunch party hosted by the KMT’s Taipei branch.

Two other hopefuls, KMT Taipei City councilors Chiang Nai-shin (蔣乃辛) and Lee Ching-yuan (李慶元), attended the party with Lin to solicit support from party members.

In response to New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming’s (郁慕明) remarks that the party would also present a candidate to run in the by-election, Wu said the KMT respected the New Party’s decision and would continue working with its pan-blue ally.

The final result of the primary will be announced by the KMT’s Taipei City branch today. Pan Chia-sen (潘家森), director of the branch, echoed Wu’s plea for party unity and called on hopefuls to support the final candidate after the result is announced.

In Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) camp, the party’s Taipei City caucus announced it would support councilor Chou Po-ya (周柏雅) to represent the party in the by-election.

DPP Chairman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) had previously suggested that the party could select a non-DPP member as its candidate.

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