Wed, Jan 13, 2010 - Page 3 News List

Deputy mayor quits KMT after candidacy kerfuffle

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Jhongli Deputy Mayor Lin Hsiang-mei (林香美) yesterday said she was quitting the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) after alleging on Monday that the party had deceived her during the nomination process for next month’s Taoyuan County legislative by-election.

The KMT nominated former KMT legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖) as its candidate for the by-election, scheduled for Feb. 27.

Lin yesterday told a press conference that she would run in the election, adding that she would push for reform via a “middle way.”

On Monday, Lin and Taoyuan County Councilor Wu Yu-tung (吳餘東) alleged they were misled by their party during the nomination process.

Lin had registered her candidacy before the KMT nominated Chen as its candidate.

Rebutting the allegations, the KMT’s Culture and Communications Committee issued a statement, saying they “did not tally with the facts” and that Lin and Wu “twisted” what had happened.

At the time, the KMT threatened to expel from the party individuals defying a party ban from registering if they did not drop out by Friday.

The committee said initial negotiations between aspiring candidates were handled by local “heavyweights” and the party headquarters was not involved.

Opinion polls conducted by the KMT headquarters showed that Jhongli Mayor Ye Bu-liang (葉步樑) topped the list, followed by Lin, Chen and Wu Yu-tung, the statement said.

During the initial negotiation process, the statement said, the party was considering nominating Chen if the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) were to select former DPP spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang (鄭文燦) as its flag bearer. The party would nominate Ye or Lin if the DPP named current Taoyuan County Councilor Huang Jen-chu (黃仁杼) as its candidate, it said.

The DPP eventually nominated Huang, but the KMT negotiations broke down. The statement said Lin did not obtain the party’s consent before she registered her candidacy because of “personal grievances,” further complicating the situation.

The committee said they did not nominate Ye or Lin because it did not want them to attack each other. The party decided to pick Chen after KMT Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) intervened because Chen was thought to have the best chance of winning.

The statement said Wu was never in the running because he lagged behind in the polls and King had told him in person during a meeting on Dec. 7 that he would not be selected.

The Taoyuan by-election will fill the vacancy left by KMT Legislator John Wu (吳志揚), who resigned after winning last month’s Taoyuan County commissioner election.

Three more by-elections will be held concurrently on Feb. 27 in Hsinchu, Chiayi and Hualien. The by-elections are being held after three lawmakers won the city mayor and county commissioner elections last month.

They are Chiu Ching-chun (邱鏡淳) of the KMT who won the Hsinchu County commissioner election, Chang Hwa-kuan (張花冠) of the DPP, who secured Chiayi County and Fu Kun-chi (傅崑萁), who withdrew from the KMT to run as an independent and prevailed in the Hualien County commissioner election.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY STAFF WRITER

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