Fri, Jan 15, 2010 - Page 3 News List

KMT’s King tells Taoyuan rebels to quit race

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Secretary-General King Pu-tsung (金溥聰) traveled to Taoyuan County yesterday to campaign for Apollo Chen (陳學聖), and said the party will expel members who violated its regulations and don’t drop out of the upcoming by-election by today.

Chen was nominated by the KMT as its candidate for the Taoyuan County legislative by-election, which will be held on Feb. 27.

“It is very important to follow party regulations, and we will have to revoke party memberships of those who risked violating party regulations by insisting on running in the by-elections,” King said, in a clear reference to Jhongli Deputy Mayor Lin Hsiang-mei (林香美) and Taoyuan County Councilor Wu Yu-tung (吳餘東).

Lin announced on Tuesday that she would quit the KMT, accusing it of failing to follow proper nomination processes. She and Wu have refused to drop out of the race.

The KMT nominated Chen even though he placed third in its opinion polls after Jhongli Mayor Ye Bu-liang (葉步樑) and Lin. Wu placed fourth.

The party’s Culture and Communications Committee said in a statement last week that the KMT had not nominated Ye or Lin because it did not want them to attack each other. Chen was picked after King intervened because Chen was thought to have the best chance of winning, the committee said.

Four by-elections will be held on Feb. 27 to replace lawmakers from Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Chiayi and Hualien who won posts in last month’s mayoral and county commissioner elections.

The KMT said President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), in his role as party chairman, will begin a nationwide tour next month to campaign for its candidates and seek better communication with local factions.

Ma will visit Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Chiayi and Hualien counties first to campaign for the by-election candidates. He will then visit cities and counties that will hold special municipality elections next year, before meeting with KMT members in other cities and counties.

Ma would meet local members at “tea parties,” the committee said.

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