Thu, Apr 07, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Hung rebuffs call for general convenor vote

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu, left, yesterday in Taipei presents a certificate to the new chairman of the KMT legislative caucus’ Education and Culture Committee, Chiang Nai-hsin.

Photo: CNA

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday rebuffed the KMT caucus’ call for the caucus to elect its own general convener as caucus whip, saying that the person elected by the caucus “would be the deputy executive director of the party’s policy committee,” a position that would be under the leadership of the party-assigned policy committee’s chief executive director, who is conventionally the KMT caucus whip.

The KMT caucus proposed before the KMT chairperson by-election on March 26 to set up a new caucus position of “general convener” to double as the caucus whip, who is to be elected from among KMT lawmakers.

The move by the caucus has been seen as one that aims to hollow out the power of the party headquarters.

Hung said during the KMT Central Standing Committee meeting yesterday that she supports the establishment of a new position, but the elected convener would be “ex officio policy committee deputy executive director,” who would thereby be under the leadership of the KMT policy committee’s chief executive director, who doubles as the KMT caucus whip by convention.

“The legislature is composed of elected representatives who have the responsibility to oversee the government. The party’s think tank [the policy committee] would not only be the shadow Cabinet, but also an ammunition depot for the party lawmakers to do their job with better information,” Hung said. “The general convener elected by the caucus would be ex officio deputy executive director of the policy committee, which would bind the party, the think tank and the caucus closely together and maximize the party’s performance in the legislature.”

Hung said the Democratic Progressive Party now holds a majority in the legislature and the presidency, rendering the KMT as “utterly an opposition party.”

“We have only 35 seats left in the legislature and it would rely on their performance for the party to act as a loyal opposition party. The legislature would also be the place for the party to remake its image for the public to trust us,” Hung said.

In the Central Standing Committee meeting, the party-assigned caucus officials were officially endorsed.

KMT Legislator Lin Te-fu (林德福) remains as the caucus secretary-general, or conventionally the “small” caucus whip, as opposed to the “large” caucus whip, who is the chief executive director of the policy committee.

Jonny Chiang (江啟臣) is the first deputy secretary-general, with Alicia Wang (王育敏), Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華) and Lee Yan-hsiu (李彥秀) being appointed as deputy secretaries-general.

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