The Hsinchu chapter of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday expelled Hsinchu County Council Speaker Chang Pi-chin (張碧琴) for registering for the year-end local elections after the party nominated someone else to run for the position of county commissioner.
Lin Kuo-ping (林國平), chairman of the KMT Hsinchu chapter, said the chapter had forwarded its resolution to KMT headquarters for approval and hoped it would be finalized tomorrow.
Peng Tseng-yuan (彭增源), a standing member of the chapter's Discipline Committee, said they had no alternative but to “reluctantly” cancel Chang's membership because she had violated party rules.
The KMT has nominated KMT Legislator Chiu Ching-chun (邱鏡淳) to contest the Hsinchu County commissioner election on Dec. 5.
Former KMT legislator Wu Cheng-tien (吳成典), who lost to Lee Wuo-shi (李沃士) in the party's primary for Kinmen County commissioner, yesterday also announced his withdrawal from the party and registered as a candidate in the election.
Huang Yuan-liang (黃原亮), chairperson of the KMT's Kinmen chapter, said it would present Wu's case to party headquarters for “recommended discipline.”
Aside from Hsinchu and Kinmen, the KMT is also facing a possible split in Yunlin, Hualien, Taitung, Chiayi, Nantou, Yilan, Taoyuan and Penghu.
KMT Secretary-General Chan Chun-po (詹春柏) yesterday said the Party Disciplinary Committee and the Committee Against Corruption would take care of the Hsinchu chapter's recommendation to expel Chang.
Because the two committees are independent units, Chan said he did not have a say on the matter and the party would respect the decision they make.
On the candidate for Yunlin County commissioner, Chan confirmed that the party was having a hard time finding a replacement for Chang Li-shan (張麗善), but said it would have an “appropriate candidate” before the deadline for registration of candidates, which started yesterday and ends on Friday.
Chang Li-shan last week tearfully withdrew from the race, citing family reasons. Her withdrawal was another blow to the KMT after its resounding defeat in the Yunlin legislative by-election about a week ago.
The split in the pan-blue vote, with both KMT candidate Chang Ken-hui (張艮輝) and independent candidate Chang Hui-yuan (張輝元) running in the by-election, helped Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Liu Chien-kuo (劉建國) win by a landslide.
Chang Hui-yuan said after the by-election that he was considering joining the race for Yunlin County commissioner.
Following Chang Li-shan's withdrawal, the KMT has conducted opinion polls on four hopefuls, but Chan yesterday declined to reveal the outcome, saying it was for internal reference only.
Asked whether President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who will assume the KMT chairmanship on Oct. 17, would personally talk to defiant party members to resolve the problem, Chan said Ma only expressed concern on the matter but did not have time to get personally involved because he was preoccupied with state affairs, including the financial crisis and flooding caused by Typhoon Morakot.
Meanwhile, DPP Spokesman Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟) said yesterday that former DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) would represent the party in the Taoyuan County commissioner race.
DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) will make an official announcement on Cheng's nomination tomorrow during the Central Standing Committee, Chao said.