President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who doubles as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman, will nominate the six existing vice chairpersons at Sunday’s party congress and not replace any to avoid internecine power struggles.
KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chun (楊偉中) confirmed yesterday that the party has no plans to nominate a new vice chairperson at this year’s congress. The current vice chairpersons are Lin Feng-cheng (林豐正), Chan Chun-po (詹春柏), John Chiang (蔣孝嚴), Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), KMT Legislator Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) and Chiayi Mayor Huang Ming-hui (黃敏惠).
Ma will formally pledge to continue as the KMT chairman at the congress in Greater Taichung.
KMT regulations do not limit the number of vice chairpersons, and there have been rumors that Ma could use his authority to nominate his preferred successor as a vice chairperson ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Ma made clear that he will not pick a new vice chairperson, and has avoided the topic of his preferred successor amid the party’s hopefuls for the presidential election: Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), Premier Jiang Yih-huah (江宜樺), Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and New Taipei City (新北市) Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫).
The KMT will hold its 19th congress at Taichung Stadium on Sunday. On the agenda is a revision to party regulations to make it mandatory that when the KMT is in power, the president should also serve as party chairman, part of Ma’s plan for closer cooperation between the party and the government.
Yang dismissed concerns from some members that the proposal would help Ma avoid his responsibilities should the party suffer defeats in local elections next year and the presidential election in 2016, and said the KMT is seeking to establish a system to enhance party-government cooperation.
If it is passed, Ma, who is in his second and final term as the president, would lose the KMT chairmanship in 2016 if the KMT won the presidential election and be replaced by the next president.