Thu, Jan 28, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Acting chairperson in KMT race

DIVERSITY:he choices for KMT chairperson are reportedly of various backgrounds, ages and experiences which one party member believes would help build a better party

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Acting Chairperson Huang Min-hui, right, yesterday hosts the KMT Central Standing Committee meeting in Taipei.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Acting Chairperson Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠) yesterday joined the list of candidates for party chairperson, while former Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) announced he would stay out of the race.

Taipei City Councilor Lee Hsin (李新) on Tuesday picked up a registration form for the by-election and Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) did yesterday.

Huang, 57, is a former party vice chairperson and former Chiayi mayor.

Huang reportedly called Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) before she sent an aide to pick up the form, informing Wang of her decision and assuring him that the party’s local faction would not be absent from the race.

Soochow University political science professor and New Power Party legislator-at-large-elect Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) on Saturday last week said that a mainlander-origin (外省籍) chairperson election would “New-Party-ize” the KMT.

Wang, who is widely seen as the leader of the party’s local faction — as opposed to people of mainlander origin— said before the Jan. 16 elections that he would not run for party chairperson.

Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) had been considered a possible candidate who could win the support of local faction members.

However, reports say he is hesitant to join the race with Hung announcing her bid because he stands little chance given that the party’s Huang Fu-hsing military veterans’ branch — traditionally a ‘deep-blue’ faction that harbours deep distrust of Wang after the political feud between Wang and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in 2013 — constitutes a key base of the party membership.

Hau yesterday released a statement that said he would not join the chairperson election, undoing reports that he would go to party headquarters to pick up a form at 3:30pm.

“I have seen many of our comrades revealing their interest in joining the party chairmanship election. It is unprecedented for the party. These [candidates] have different backgrounds, are of different generations and equipped with various life experiences, a phenomenon that demonstrates the KMT’s diversity and tolerance” of differences, Hau said in the statement.

“With this wide variety of representation, I believe that party members and the public have a sufficient array of choices, from which the most fitting party line and party chairperson could be chosen,” he said, adding that he would help party members build a better KMT.

Legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖), who was re-elected on Jan. 16, picked up a registration form yesterday.

As the only lawmaker among the contenders, the party could best perform its role as supervisor of the government as an opposition party with him as chairperson, Chen said.

Chen said the KMT should start to accustom itself with intra-party democracy.

“A race with multiple contenders is not a sign of disintegration, but a process toward achieving consensus and a rebirth of the KMT,” he said.

Taipei City Councilor Chung Hsiao-ping (鍾小平), tried to collect a form, but was denied because qualification rules require candidates to have been a KMT Central Committee member.

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