Sat, Jul 18, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Chu rejects ‘hall of one voice’ criticism

PARTY PURGE:Eric Chu expelled five members from the KMT in the name of party unity, but four of them are likely to run against their former colleagues in January

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff reporter, with CNA

Lee Chang-chih, left, Jack Yu, center, and Hsu Chai-hsin, spokespeople from the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) joint campaign office for the presidential and legislative elections, raise their fists and chant a slogan as they guide reporters on a tour of the campaign office in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) yesterday rejected the “hall of one voice” label attached to the party after it earlier this week revoked the memberships of five party members who often publicly criticized the party.

“The decision was necessary to uphold the party’s discipline. Party members can criticize the party, chairman, or any party leader, but they cannot undermine party unity,” Chu said.

Chu said that the most important purpose of the expulsion was to call on everyone to “unite as one,” to refrain from “waving a blue flag to oppose the blue flag,” or to “collude with the pan-green camp behind the pan-blue camp’s back.”

“These kinds of behaviors are impermissible,” Chu said of the expulsions.

The purge has drawn derisive comments that the KMT is a “hall of one voice,” where people with different views are not allowed in.

Concerns were also raised that it could accentuate divisions which the party has been struggling with in that, except for alternative Central Committee member Lee Po-jung (李柏融), the other four kicked out of the party are likely to face off against their previous KMT colleagues in January’s legislative election.

The KMT, which has picked Legislator Yen Kuan-hen (顏寬恆) over Chi Kuo-tung (紀國棟) to run in the second constituency of Taichung, would have to submissively surrender the seat to the Democratic Progressive Party if Chi decides to run as an independent candidate to make it a three-way race, SET-TV reported.

KMT Legislator Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆), seeking re-election in the eighth constituency of Taipei, consisting of Wenshan District (文山) and part of Zhongzheng District (中正), is expected to run against Taipei City Councilor Lee Ching-yuan (李慶元), who has hinted he may run against Lai as an independent candidate.

Former Taipei city councilor Yang Shih-chiu (楊實秋) has been rumored to be running for a legislative seat in the seventh constituency of Taipei, including Xinyi District (信義) and part of Songshan District (松山), against KMT Legislator Alex Fei (費鴻泰).

Yao Li-ming (姚立明), who was the campaign manager of Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) in last year’s mayoral election, recently confirmed Yang is among a few KMT politicians he tried talking into running as an independent legislative candidate.

Chang Sho-wen (張碩文), who quit the KMT to join the People First Party before he was expelled from the KMT, is running for a legislative seat in the third constituency of New Taipei City in Sanchong District (三重) where the KMT is likely to nominate Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍), who served as mayor of the former Sanchong city.

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