Tue, Mar 03, 2009 - Page 3 News List

KMT panned for changing ‘black’ clause

By Rich Chang and Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday criticized the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) for relaxing its “black exclusion” clause to allow party members who were involved in trials before Nov. 22 last year but not convicted in the first trial to run in primaries for the year-end city and county chief elections.

DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) said the KMT decided to relax the clause because it had realized that party members who are standing trial might withdraw from the party so that they could enter this year’s mayoral and county commissioner’s elections as independents.

Gao said covering up “black gold and corruption” was the real face of the KMT.

The legislator added that the DPP caucus had proposed several “black exclusion” bills in the legislature, including adding a clause to the Public Officials Election and Recall Act (公職人員選罷法) and the Organic Regulations for Irrigation and Water Conservancy ­Associations (農田水利會組織通則), but the KMT caucus had boycotted the proposals.

Meanwhile, a number of KMT legislators yesterday voiced opposition to the move.

When asked for comment, KMT Legislator Wu Yu-sheng (吳育昇) said the party should hold a press conference to explain the reason behind the relaxation.

The party should not finalize the regulation until KMT members have considered it more carefully, Wu said.

“There should be no compromise in terms of regulations to ensure clean politics,” Wu said.

KMT Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) agreed.

“The party’s policy should be consistent. [Changing the regulation] would leave the public with a negative impression,” Lo said.

KMT Legislator Wu Ching-chih (吳清池) said the party should not keep changing the “black exclusion” clause.

The party first relaxed the clause in 2007, allowing members who were indicted but not convicted to run for elections on behalf of the party. The party’s decision was interpreted as a move to pave the way for then-KMT presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who had been indicted on charges of misusing his mayoral special allowance, to run for president. The court later found Ma not guilty.

The KMT’s extraordinary Party Congress next resolved on Nov. 22 last year that the rights of members who had been found guilty in a first trial would be suspended, and that the members would be barred from entering party primaries or seeking party nominations.

KMT headquarters informed its local chapters of the latest change in a last-minute letter on Sunday.

However, KMT Vice Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said yesterday that the decision did not amount to relaxing the “black exclusion” clause, as the party had decided upon passing the regulation on Nov. 22 that the rule should not apply retroactively.

KMT caucus deputy secretary-general Hsiao Ching-tien (蕭景田) said the public should not “make a mountain out of a molehill,” adding that the party had amended the clause in response to changes in the political climate.

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