Tue, Feb 27, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Women’s League members call for new leadership election, are shown the door

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

Hawkish members of the National Women’s League yesterday called for a leadership re-election in a bid to oust league chairwoman Joanna Lei (雷倩), who has taken a more cooperative approach with the government amid an official investigation into the league’s assets.

League members Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) and Tan Hai-chu (談海珠) delivered a petition to the league’s headquarters in Taipei demanding that a new election be held by March 15.

The league planned to hold a general assembly on March 8 to elect a new chairperson and board of directors, but it did not issue any notice ahead of the assembly, which violated requirements in the Civil Associations Act (人民團體法), Pan said.

Pan criticized Lei, saying she redacted an appeal to be filed against a government ruling determining that the league is affiliated with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) from more than 20 pages to only eight.

The Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee on Feb. 1 made the ruling immediately after the league’s board members, led by Pan, voted against Lei’s proposal to sign an administrative contract with the Ministry of the Interior that would have led to the league’s voluntary dissolution and the donation of 90 percent of its assets to the state in exchange for the termination of the investigation into the league’s financial and political status.

While the committee’s ruling was illegal, the redacted appeal document, which edited out evidence favorable to the league, made it inevitable that the league would lose the legal battle with the committee, Pan said.

“The recognition of the National Women’s League as a KMT-affiliated organization did serious damage to the women’s movement,” Pan said. “We have to defend the league and [the memory of league founder] Soong Mayling (宋美齡). We have to stand up and fight when negotiation and surrender are not a solution.”

Pan said the ministry has a double standard when dealing with the league, as it removed former league chairwoman Cecilia Koo (辜嚴倬雲) and deputy chairwoman Yeh Chin-fong (葉金鳳) because they refused to sign the contract, but Lei has not been removed, despite failing to ink the contract.

Pan does not intend to vie for the chairperson position, but would not refuse an appointment, she said, adding that she would support any person, including Lei, to lead the league, as long as the newly-elected chair could work with the board of directors and implement its decisions.

However, Pan and Tan were rejected at the door by league headquarters, and league public relation director Yang Meng-ju (楊夢茹) said the two were “uninvited” and attempting to “stir up trouble.”

Yang said the league has not yet set a date for the general assembly and what it is to organize on March 8 is merely a Women’s Day celebration event.

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