Thu, Apr 09, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Wu mum on his chairmanship re-election

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

President Ma Ying-jeou, left, and Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman Wu Poh-hsiung converse at a book launch in Taipei yesterday, the first in a series of activities to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of late president Chiang Ching-kuo.

PHOTO: WANG YI-HSIUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) yesterday declined to confirm if he intends to seek re-election as party chairman and said those vying for the chairmanship would be announced in June.

“Everything will become clear on June 15 when hopefuls are required collect a registration form. I will contest the election if I claim a form on that day and I will not if I don’t claim a form,” Wu said yesterday at KMT headquarters.

When asked about speculation that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) could take over as party chairman, Wu reiterated that the candidates would be known on June 15.

The election for KMT chairman is scheduled to take place in July.

The Presidential Office has rebutted media speculation that Ma will double as President and KMT chairman in order to take control of party affairs.

KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yi (吳敦義) yesterday also said Ma and Wu Poh-hsiung would decide by June whether they will run in the election for party chairman.

A poll conducted by Chinese-language newspaper the China Times showed that 39 percent of respondents said the KMT were not implementing Ma’s policies. However, 47 percent said they were opposed to Ma becoming KMT chairman. Only 27 percent said they supported Ma taking up the position.

When asked about who they would support in the KMT chairman election, 29 percent said ­Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強).

Asked whether they were satisfied with Ma’s performance, 44 percent of the respondents said yes, while 40 percent said they were satisfied with Wu Poh-hsiung’s performance.

Wu Poh-hsiung said Hu’s high support rate showed that the party was not lacking in talent.

At a separate setting yesterday, KMT Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) said he was against Ma acting as president and party chairman, saying it would be a setback to democracy.

He said that the China Times survey showed that “the ass kissers close to President Ma can stop [pushing the idea] now that Ma knows how loyal you are.”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY FLORA WANG

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