Mon, Oct 16, 2017 - Page 3 News List

KMT holds elections for branch heads

FIRST TIME:The official results will not be announced until the day after tomorrow, but initial results show Huang Lu Chin-ju beating Chung Hsiao-ping in the Taipei race

By Chung Hung-liang and Lin Liang-sheng  /  Staff reporters, with CNA

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih casts his vote in a classroom at Nanmen Elementary School in Taipei, which was a polling station yesterday for the KMT’s election for local branch directors.

Photo: CNA

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday held its first-ever direct election of local branch directors in 10 cities and counties, a poll that many believe will have a direct impact on the KMT’s strategic planning for next year’s elections for special municipality mayors and city and county councilors.

The KMT poll was held after the party passed an amendment to its charter during its congress in September last year to allow members to directly vote for the heads of their local branches.

Such positions were traditionally filled by party chairpersons, but the KMT’s defeat in last year’s presidential and legislative elections prompted many KMT members to call for internal reforms.

The results of the poll, which were revealed after 4pm, appear to reflect KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) leadership and his preparations for next year’s elections.

One of the most contested branch leader posts was in Taipei, where former Taipei Department of Civil Affairs commissioner Huang Lu Chin-ju (黃呂錦茹) ran against Taipei City Councilor Chung Hsiao-ping (鍾小平).

Prior to the election, Huang Lu filed a lawsuit against Chung for what she called his unfounded allegations that she had tried to bribe voters. Chung filed a countersuit for false charges.

After Huang Lu was informally declared the winner, by 1,011 ballots, Chung withdrew his charges.

Tainan City Councilor Hsieh Lung-chieh (謝龍介) appears to have won in Tainan, Hualien County Medical Association director Chou Yung-hung (鄒永宏) won in Hualien, Taitung County Councilor Wu Hsiu-hua (吳秀華) won in that county and former KMT legislator Tsao Erh-chang (曹爾忠) won in Lienchiang County.

Five races had only a single candidate, including the former mayor of then-Taipei County’s Sanchong City (三重) Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍) in New Taipei City; Hsinchu County Councilor deputy speaker Chen Chien-hsien (陳見賢) in that county, and the incumbent branch directors in Taoyuan, Pingtung County and Kinmen County: Yang Ming-sheng (楊敏盛), Liao Wan-ju (廖婉汝) and Lin Fang-hsuan (林芳旋).

The list of winning candidates will be formally announced after it is reviewed by the KMT’s Central Standing Committee on Wednesday, the party said.

Taipei saw the lowest turnout rate among the KMT’s 10 administrative areas, with just 19.09 percent, while Kinmen had the highest voting rate at 64.9 percent.

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was accompanied by Huang Lu when he cast his ballot at Nanmen Elementary School in Taipei, but he did not speak to reporters.

Wu also cast his ballot at the school, saying the competition overall was intense, but he hoped to see “fair play.”

After polling closed and the provisional winners were announced, Wu said that he hopes the new directors will be faithful to the party, help collect grassroots opinion and unify local supporters.

He said he would not ask the new directors not to enter next year’s municipal elections because they can each weigh their own options.

The newly elected branch directors are to be sworn in on Wednesday next week.

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