Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Central Standing Committee member Lee Te-wei (李德維) yesterday urged the party to put to a vote a number of proposed amendments to the KMT charter during the 19th party congress on Sunday rather than sending them to the Central Committee for “an indefinite period of deliberation.”
“The party should respect the opinions of the representatives of its grassroots members and let them make decisions for the party. It would be nice to see each of the more than 1,000 people attending the congress fulfilling their role in the party,” Lee said.
The KMT would become a more democratic party if participants are allowed to vote on different proposals at the congress, Lee said.
According to a source familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity, several party members have proposed amending the KMT charter, including binding the party chairmanship to the office of president, adjusting the frequency of the party’s nationwide representative meeting from biennially to annually, and allowing Central Committee members instead of party representatives to select members for the Central Standing Committee once every two years.
Some also proposed reinstating a scrapped program under which retired civil servants were given a year-end bonus equivalent to 1.5 months of their pre-retirement salary, the source said.
The source said that similar proposals were also heard during the Central Standing Committee last week, in which some members suggested giving a clearer definition to the two-term limit imposed on the party chairman to avoid a repetition of the controversy when President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) sought re-election as KMT chairman in January.
“From what I have heard, Ma has only instructed the party’s Organization and Development Committee to assess the necessity of amending the party’s charter and has not expressed his own stance on the matter,” the source said.
Another KMT member who also requested anonymity said Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would not be sitting next to Ma in the front row at the congress, and he is only due to deliver a written report rather than a speech.
Ma and former KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) are scheduled to speak at the opening ceremony, while former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) will not be attend the congress, the member said.
Interactions between Ma and Wang have become the center of media attention after the president accused the speaker of improper lobbying.