Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Central Standing Committee member Hsieh Kun-hung (謝坤宏) yesterday submitted his registration for the election for the post of party chairman, becoming the only challenger to President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) bid to be re-elected as KMT chairman.
Accompanied by about 20 friends and supporters, Hsieh exhibited the signatures proving his eligibility to stand as a candidate and completed his registration at KMT headquarters in Taipei.
Under party regulations, individuals wishing to run for party chairman must receive 12,000 signatures, roughly 3 percent of the 380,000 party members possessing the right to vote in party chairman elections.
Hsieh received 20,952 signatures, proving his legitimacy to be a candidate in the elections. Ma, who on Thursday registered his bid for the party chairmanship, received 80,000 signatures.
Hsieh said he is running for the post of party chairman in the hope of accomplishing nine goals — a full-time party chairman, oversight of governmental policy through the party, an endeavor to continue the legacy of the party by passing on the responsibility and training of younger party members, achieving transparency of party assets, revitalizing the party and its organization, establishing a Morals Committee, connecting the party with international affairs and the strengthening Zhonghua (中華) culture.
Hsieh said he was running for party chairman so Ma, as the head of the state, could concentrate on the more important job of running the country.
He added that he hoped his participation in the elections would not create a wedge in the party.
“We need to start afresh and gain some room for maneuver because the party cannot afford to fracture,” Hsieh said.
Ma, accompanied by Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and his re-election campaign office director, Chan Chun-po (詹春柏), during his candidacy registration on Thursday, also called for party unity as he promised to seek closer cooperation between the government and the KMT in pushing government policies.
The election will take place on July 20.