President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who is also Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman, yesterday expressed concern about alleged vote swapping schemes for September 7’s Central Standing Committee (CSC) election and promised to discipline any candidate who engages in vote buying.
“Chairman Ma values campaign ethics and is concerned about the allegations. He has instructed the party to investigate the allegations. Those who are found to have engaged in bribery will lose their candidacies and face serious punishment,” KMT Culture and Communication Committee director Hsiao Hsu-tsen (蕭旭岑) said.
On Wednesday, a group of young KMT delegates accused 26 of the 46 CSC candidates of forming a “26 Alliance” and working together to guarantee that they each would be elected.
The delegates — who call themselves the “Self-Awareness Alliance” — said in a statement that each of the 26 candidates was responsible for procuring votes from 20 to 40 party delegates in order to secure the 520 to 1,000 votes they need to be elected.
They said the “26 Alliance” includes KMT legislators Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順) and Yang Chiung-ying (楊瓊櫻), CSC member Lee Chuan-chiao (李全教) and Ho Tsai-feng (侯彩鳳).
A CSC member who wished not to be named said that “26 Alliance” members had to pay a NT$200,000 membership fee.
Self-Awareness Alliance convener Chen Cheng-feng (陳政峰) said such vote swapping is a major setback for Ma’s efforts to reform the party.
Given a power structure that is based on money, young party members with no faction affiliation have little chance of joining the KMT’s decision-making body, Chen said.
However, the KMT Discipline Committee yesterday said it had found no evidence to support the allegations about voting.
KMT Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) said the party will continue its investigation and he urged all candidates to follow party regulations, which say candidates should not form alliances, host banquets or give gifts.
“We also call on all party delegates to demonstrate their power of judgment and elect Central Standing Committee members after careful consideration,” he said.
A total of 1,685 delegates will elect the 32 CSC members. The CSC is the party’s highest decisionmaking body.