Wed, Nov 11, 2009 - Page 4 News List

KMT picks Kuang for Taitung race

NO SURPRISES Kuang Li-chen raised eyebrows when she withdrew from the county commissioner race. Many speculated she was eyeing the legislature

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taitung County Commissioner Kuang Li-chen accepts the Chinese Nationalist Party’s nomination yesterday to represent the party in the county’s legislative by-election.

PHOTO: CHANG CHUN-WEI, TAIPEI TIMES

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday nominated Taitung County Commissioner Kuang Li-chen (鄺麗貞) to run in the county's legislative by-election amid claims by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) that the nomination was a trade-off for an undertaking not to seek re-election as county commissioner.

The DPP threatened to take Kuang to court if the KMT nominated her for Taitung County’s legislative by-election, saying she may have made a “backroom deal” to run in the race.

KMT Legislator Justin Huang (黃健庭) resigned last month to run in the upcoming Taitung County commissioner election, making him the seventh lawmaker in the current legislature to fail to complete his legislative term.

Just as the KMT braced for a split in the election, Kuang, who had seemed determined to seek re-election, raised political eyebrows when she announced in the middle of last month that she was giving up her reelection bid and wished Huang success.

Local media speculated that the KMT promised Kuang it would nominate her for the legislative by-election after Huang resigned to run for the commissioner election.

While Kuang was the sole candidate registering for the election, KMT Secretary-General Chan Chun-po (詹春柏) has said that Kuang would still need to go through a primary to become the party’s nominee and her approval rating must exceed 30 percent to win the nomination.

The KMT yesterday held a meeting to ­approve Kuang’s nomination. They also nominated Taiping Mayor Yu Wen-chin (余文欽) to run in Taichung County’s legislative by-election.

The Taichung legislative by-election will be held to fill the seat left vacant by former KMT legislator Chiang Lien-fu (江連福), whose election status was annulled over vote-buying.

The party has yet to decide its nominee for Nantou County’s legislative by-election. The seat is left vacant by Cheng-ching (廖正井), whose election was annuled because of bribery.

During yesterday’s two-hour meeting, which was chaired by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as KMT chairman, participants proposed holding Central Standing Committee meetings in different locations to dovetail with campaign activities in the run-up to next month’s local elections.

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