Sun, Aug 02, 2009 - Page 3 News List

KMT to hold primary for Hualien County poll

IN OR OUT? Department of Health Minister Yeh Ching-chuan has not decided whether he will run for county commissioner, but will do so soon, the KMT said

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday reversed its decision to skip the primary process for the year-end Hualien County commissioner election amid pressure from would-be candidates upset at the party’s plan to nominate Department of Health (DOH) Minister Yeh Ching-chuan (葉金川).

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Secretary-General Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said last night that the party would hold a primary for the nomination to determine the candidate in a fair manner.

Yeh will make a decision within the next few days on whether he will stay at the DOH, Wu said, adding that more details about the primary would be announced soon and the nomination finalized by Sept. 12.

Wu made the remarks after meeting Yang Po-ren (楊博仁) of the party’s Hualien County branch and KMT Organization and Development Committee director Huang Chao-yuan (黃昭元) at party headquarters.

If Yeh, who earlier refused to participate in a primary, seeks the nomination, he would be willing to vie with the five contenders who registered for the primary before it was scrapped in May, Wu said.

Yeh’s rivals for the post had protested the decision to skip the primary and continued to campaign, raising concerns of a possible split in the vote.

The KMT is also trying to prevent splits in its support base in Taoyuan County, Hsinchu County and Taitung County.

In Taoyuan County, negotiations for the commissioner election failed, with KMT Legislator John Wu (吳志揚), son of Wu Poh-hsiung, and Taoyuan County Council Speaker Tseng Chong-yi (曾忠義) both saying they would run for the post.

The KMT will hold a primary today for the post.

In Taitung County, the KMT nominated Legislator Justin Huang (黃健庭) in a primary in May, but Taitung County Commissioner Kuang Li-cheng (鄺麗貞) said she would not be discouraged from running for re-election.

In Hsinchu County, Council Speaker Chang Bi-ching (張碧琴) has announced plans to run for the commissionership although the party has nominated KMT Legislator Chiu Ching-chun (邱鏡淳).

Wu Den-yih said the party was having difficulties in these counties, but would continue negotiating between party members to prevent a split in the vote.

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