The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) is scheduled to hold its party congress on July 20, when it will elect its next chairman, the party said yesterday.
The KMT will announce the election date on June 5 and those interested in joining the race can pick up their registration forms on June 10 and June 11, and collect signatures of support between June 11 and June 20. Formal registration for candidacy is set for June 20 and June 21.
The proposed timetable will be presented to the KMT’s Central Standing Committee on Wednesday next week for approval, KMT spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) said.
President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) four-year term as KMT chairman will end this year. He has expressed his intention to seek re-election amid growing challenges over his leadership due to his low approval rating as president. Local KMT branches have alleged he initiated signature drives last month, ahead of schedule.
According to KMT regulations, to qualify for the election, would-be candidates should garner the support of at least 3 percent of KMT members with voting rights, or about 10,000 members.
Apart from Ma, only KMT Central Standing Committee member Hsieh Kun-hung (謝坤宏) has said he plans to run in the election.
Hsieh said signature drives to support Ma’s chairmanship bid have been launched in some cities and counties, and expressed concern that the party is misusing its resources to campaign for the president in the election.
Ma was elected KMT chairman in 2005, but resigned in 2007 when he was embroiled in a corruption case amid claims that he had misused his special allowance fund during his tenure as Taipei mayor.
Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) replaced Ma, serving as party chairman until 2009. Ma was found not guilty of graft in 2008 and re-elected as party chairman in 2009.
Ma collected more than 9,000 signatures when he ran for chairman that year.
Yin said the party would maintain a neutral stance during the upcoming election.