Wed, Oct 28, 2009 - Page 4 News List

KMT suspends rights of 12 members over scandal

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday suspended the rights of 12 party members participating in the Central Standing Committee (CSC) election for three months amid allegations of vote buying.

Twenty-eight of the committee's elected members tendered their resignations last week, accusing the party of selectively investigating allegations of vote-buying during the election campaign.

President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as KMT chairman, held a provisional meeting on Thursday after the KMT revoked the election of two CSC members for bribing party delegates on Oct. 20. Ma on Monday finalized a plan to hold a CSC by-election on Nov. 14.

Juan Kang-meng (阮剛猛), director of the party's disciplinary committee, told reporters after the committee held a provisional meeting yesterday afternoon that although the 12 members denied they had given gifts, they allowed their supporters to do so and therefore undermined the image of the party. Eight out of the 12 were elected.

Juan said that yesterday’s decision capped a week-long investigation into the vote-buying allegations after the party nullified the election of two members on Oct. 20. Yesterday’s disciplinary measures were meant to reflect the party’s resolve to push for reform, he said.

As the party has publicized the rules on running in the year-end three-in-one elections and stumping for candidates, Juan said the committee also decided to mete out punishments to offenders.

The three-in-one polls refer to the election of city mayors and county commissioners, city and county councilors and township and village chiefs.

While the Hsinchu chapter reported a total of 36 members violating the party code to contest the December polls, Juan said they decided to revoke the memberships of some and suspend the party rights of others.

The committee revoked the memberships of Hsinchu County Commissioner Cheng Yung-chin (鄭永金) and his wife Cheng Song Li-hua (鄭宋麗華) for stumping for Hsinchu County Council Speaker Chang Pi-chin (張碧琴), Juan said.

Chang was stripped of her membership for ignoring the party's warning to run in the race, as the party had already nominated KMT Legislator Chiu Ching-chun (邱鏡淳) as its candidate.

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