Sat, Dec 24, 2016 - Page 3 News List

KMT’s top brass trade barbs over election decision

By Alison Hsiao and Shih Hsiao-kuang  /  Staff reporters

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu, center, and KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin, right, are pulled on a cart yesterday as part of the year-end celebrations at the New Sons of Taiwan organization in Taipei.

Photo: CNA

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) heavyweights yesterday continued to exchange barbs over the moving forward of the party’s chairperson election by two months.

The KMT Central Standing Committee on Wednesday passed a motion to change the scheduled date for the chairperson election with fewer than 10 of the 40 committee members present, which was lower than the quorum of 20 for the meeting to be valid.

Unnamed sources said that at least 26 committee members were absent with the aim of boycotting the meeting.

Despite the party’s regulations of what constitutes a quorum, KMT headquarters said it was using a definition of a quorum provided by the Ministry of the Interior, that set the quorum as the total number of members minus those who called in sick or who were absent due to business.

It said that according to that definition, the quorum was met for the meeting to pass the motion.

KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), who questioned the legitimacy of the meeting on Thursday, yesterday again called for a discussion about the election date at the committee’s meeting next week and said that party headquarters should allow the discussion with “sincerity and open-mindedness.”

Asked about committee member Yao Chiang-lin’s (姚江臨) protest about the validity of the meeting and his claim that he would take legal action against KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), Hau said he hoped that an internal discussion on reaching a consensus would take place first.

Former vice president Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who has been widely tipped to run for chairman, also took issue with the decision, saying that not following the party’s rules would incur criticism and disapproval, which damages “the party’s image of solidarity.”

Committee member Sean Lien (連勝文), son of former party chairman Lien Chan (連戰), weighed in by criticizing KMT headquarters for “suppressing different opinions with force rather than undertaking communication and coordination.”

Sean Lien said he used to feel sorry for Hung, as he believed that she deserved an apology from the party when she was, using “questionable procedures,” replaced by then-KMT chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) as the party’s presidential candidate last year.

“But I was dumbfounded by the meeting on Wednesday. The forced change to the party’s rules by suppressing different opinions repeated itself, only now the past victim has become the new wielder of power,” he said.

In response to Sean Lien’s criticism, Hung said it was a “misunderstanding” and that she hopes those who hold positions on the committee would attend all its meetings to remain well-informed.

Hung said she was “very sorry to hear that” when asked about Yao’s plan to take legal action, adding that it was actually Yao who proposed moving the date of the election.

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