Former Department of Health minister Yaung Chih-liang (楊志良) yesterday confirmed he would represent the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) as a legislator-at-large candidate, lauding President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) performance in the past three years.
Yaung said the KMT, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the People First Party had approached him to be included in their respective legislators-at-large lists before he accepted the KMT’s invitation in recognition of Ma and the KMT’s performance.
“The KMT’s performance over the previous three years has been better than the DPP’s in the previous eight years and so I accepted the KMT’s invitation to show my support for President Ma. However, I also asked the KMT not to include me on the safe list,” he said.
The KMT will nominate 20 legislator-at-large candidates for January’s legislative elections, but only 15 will be included on the “safe list.”
The seats are awarded in proportion to the popular vote each party receives at the polls.
Yaung, who promised not to join any election after stepping down as health minister in January, said he was unlikely to obtain a seat unless the KMT won the legislative elections by a large margin, dismissing concerns that he was not keeping his promise.
The KMT declined to confirm Yaung’s remarks, with KMT spokeswoman Lai Su-ju (賴素如) saying only that her party would follow the nomination procedures and complete the registration process for its legislator-at-large nominees today.
She insisted there were no “pocket lists” for the legislator-at-large seats.
“The KMT welcomes anyone who identifies with the KMT and has expertise in their fields to join us,” Lai said.
The KMT’s central nomination committee is expected to review the nominee list this week and send it to the KMT Central Standing Committee for approval on Wednesday next week.
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) is expected to top the “safe list” of nominees, after the KMT revised its nomination rules for legislators-at-large last month to pave the way for Wang, who was already re-elected once, to continue serving as speaker if the party retains its legislative majority next year.