Sat, Apr 01, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Court rescinds disputed KMT election motion

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members who have been members of the party for at least four months are to be allowed to run for party representatives this year, KMT headquarters announced yesterday, after a court rescinded a controversial motion passed by the Central Standing Committee last month that tried to raise the threshold to one year.

The Taipei District Court ruled that the party is required to use the election requirements passed by the committee in December last year and published in January.

The requirements stipulate that those who have joined the KMT or reinstated their party membership for four months or longer are entitled to run for party representative — a position that younger KMT members stand a greater chance of winning.

However, several committee members supporting former vice president Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) — one of the six candidates for KMT chairperson — railroaded a motion at a committee meeting last month that raised the threshold to one year.

The move was criticized by other chairperson candidates as being electorally motivated and prompted several young KMT members interested in running for party representative to take the issue to court on March 15.

Despite the criticism, Wu at the time lauded the motion as a wise decision.

He said that allowing relatively new KMT members to run for party representative would “leave things in disarray.”

Upon receiving the court ruling, KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Hu Wen-chi (胡文琦) said that KMT headquarters has instructed its branches to proceed with the representative election according to the verdict.

An alliance of young KMT members, who call themselves the “White Calla Lily Alliance,” issued a statement welcoming the ruling, saying that while their lawsuit has caused grievance among some party comrades, its only aim was to protect their rights.

“This incident has underscored the resilience of party members and the KMT’s gradual path to openness and democracy. We believe the party should attach more importance to the election system and rule of law in the future,” the alliance said.

Earlier yesterday, the KMT published notices for the elections of four party positions: chairperson and representatives on May 20, Central Committee members on July 8 and Central Standing Committee members on July 29.

According to statistics compiled by the party, a total of 451,510 KMT members have the right to vote in the May 20 elections, up from 226,783 in January.

The nearly two-fold increase was due to the recruitment of new party members, as well as some members’ decisions to either reinstate their membership or pay their overdue membership fees.

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