The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday remained tight-lipped about the venue for its party congress, despite confirmation from the Greater Taichung Government that the party has obtained a permit to hold an event at Taichung Stadium in Wuci (梧棲) on Nov. 9 and Nov. 10.
The time and venue for the KMT’s congress have been uncertain after the party canceled the event originally planned for Sept. 29 at National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall due to large-scale protests against President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who is also KMT chairman.
The Greater Taichung City Government confirmed on Monday that the KMT filed an application on Friday last week to use the stadium for a party event on Nov. 9 and Nov. 10, and the city government has granted the party the permit.
The KMT’s Taichung City branch also obtained permits to host rallies around the stadium from Nov. 7 to Nov. 11, and from Nov. 14 to Nov. 18.
Despite obtaining the permits for the stadium and adjacent roads, both the KMT and Greater Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) of the KMT yesterday denied that the congress would be held at the stadium next month.
“The stadium is a public venue and anyone who follows the administrative procedures can rent the place. It is only one of the options for the venue of the party congress,” Hu said.
He said the city government has handled applications for the venue and adjacent roads in accordance with the regulations, adding that the city will enhance its police force to maintain security if any events are held.
KMT spokesman Yin Wei (殷瑋) said the party has not yet finalized the date and venue for the congress, and will announce the plan once confirmed.
The stadium is said to be a preferred venue option as the party held its congress at the venue in 2011.
The KMT also hopes to avoid large rallies by staying away from Taipei.
The KMT has sent part-time staff to obtain permits to use the road leading to Taipei’s Chungshan Hall in Yangmingshan on Nov. 1, to block any protests in the area should the party decide to hold its congress in the hall.
Civic groups have accused the KMT and Ma of failing to face public grievances about poor government performance, while some party members have urged Ma to resolve his dispute with Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) over improperly lobbying allegations.
Former KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) said yesterday that party members are concerned about the political rift between Ma and Wang, and urged Wang to apply with the party’s Integrity Committee to retain his party membership.
“Wang is a KMT member forever. I hope he will be able to resolve the issue with the committee and the committee should handle the case without any interference,” Wu said.