Tue, Nov 20, 2012 - Page 3 News List

KMT members dissatisfied with Ma, urge to abstain in chairperson vote: sources

By Huang Wei-chu and Jake Chung  /  Staff Reporter, with Staff Writer

Discontent within the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is showing signs of bubbling over as party members call on fellow members to abstain from voting or to nullify their vote when it comes to the election of the next party chairperson.

Sources within the KMT said party members were dissatisfied with Ma’s decision to run for party chairperson due to his poor performance and controversial policies.

However, the source also said that with no strong contender, the only way to make Ma understand how dissatisfied party members are with his performance is to abstain from voting.

With no strong contenders, Ma would win the party election, but members can abstain from voting or nullify their vote, making turnout the lowest since 2001, when direct voting for party members was instituted, the source said.

However, the source added that Ma would feel greater pressure should there be more annulled votes than he received in 2009.

The source added that it would be a symbolic gesture to show party members’ discontent about Ma’s performance.

KMT Central Standing Committee member Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟) said the turnout rate would automatically be lower if people were unwilling to vote.

In the current situation of combining party and government policies, the Cabinet needs to have the ability to implement its policies, Lu said.

Another Central Standing Committee member Yao Chiang-lin (姚江臨) said he was also a proponent of combining party and governmental policies, adding that it was natural for the ruling party to take responsibility for governmental blunders.

Commenting on Ma’s bid for a second term as party chairman, Yao said he believed every party member had their own views on the matter, adding that he acknowledged that there were some within the party who were not satisfied with Ma’s performance.

It would be inevitable that some members would not want to vote for Ma, or would give a nullified vote, Yao said.

Another senior Central Standing Committee member said that despite criticism of Ma’s style of leadership and his preferred qualities of personnel, Ma evidently lacked the ability to self-reflect on these issues.

“If we meet a brick wall when we broach these matters in the party, we can only hope that the party will be able to weather the situation,” the member said.

Meanwhile, former KMT honorary chairman Lien Chan (連戰) recently hinted at his possible support for Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) to run against Ma in next year’s election for party chairmanship.

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