Wed, Jan 27, 2016 - Page 3 News List

KMT nominates speaker candidates

WHERE TO, WANG?KMT whip Lai Shyh-bao said outgoing Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng’s future role was not discussed, adding that he is expected to keep helping

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Lai Shyh-bao, right, and KMT legislator-elect William Tseng shake hands at party headquarters in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus yesterday nominated outgoing party caucus whip Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆) as its candidate for the legislative speakership, while it nominated legislator-elect William Tseng (曾銘宗) as deputy speaker.

The KMT caucus reached a consensus at a meeting at KMT headquarters in Taipei, which was attended by 28 of the party’s 35 legislators who won seats in the elections on Jan. 16.

“Two plans were discussed at the meeting. One was that the caucus put forward its own candidates for the speakership and deputy speakership and the other was that we allow lawmakers to vote for themselves,” Lai said on the sidelines of the meeting.

Lai said the legislators in attendance opted for the first plan and agreed to select candidates based on seniority.

However, Lai said that most KMT legislators with more seniority than him all said they were not interested in joining the speakership election on Monday next week, including incumbent Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), as well as Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順) and Lo Ming-tsai (羅明才).

As the party’s caucus whip, Lai said he could not run away and must assume the responsibility.

“I did not foresee such an outcome, nor did I plan for it,” he said.

As for the nomination of Tseng, the outgoing chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission, who does not have any prior legislative experience, Lai said he was nominated because it was later agreed that it was not necessary to adhere to the principle of seniority.

The nominations are set to bring an end to Wang’s long hold on the speakership.

Wang is the nation’s longest-serving legislative speaker, a post he has occupied since 1999. He was re-elected as a legislator-at-large on Jan. 16.

Lai’s chances of winning the speakership election are slim, as the KMT only holds 35 seats in the 113-seat legislature, compared with 68 seats held by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which is to nominate its own speakership candidate by the end of this week.

Asked what role Wang would play in the legislature, Lai said the matter was not discussed at the meeting, but Wang is expected to continue helping others.

Lai downplayed questions regarding some pan-blue supporters’ call that Wang resign as a legislator-at-large to take responsibility for the KMT’s landslide defeat in the elections.

“People who look at one thing from a different angle would certainly reach a different conclusion. I do not have much opinion on this matter and I think we should respect and listen to more opinions,” Lai said.

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