Fri, Jun 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

KMT must stick to original rules in primaries: Ma

LAST-MINUTE CHANGE:A KMT committee Wednesday last week decided not to select the Hsinchu County commissioner candidate by means of an opinion poll

By Shih Hsiao-kuang  /  Staff reporter

Former president Ma Ying-jeou, front row second right, poses with supporters as he visits Zi Nan Temple in Nantou County’s Chushan Township on Saturday last week.

Photo: Liu Pin-chuan, Taipei Times

Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) to adhere to its candidate selection rules to prevent disputes ahead of the Nov. 24 nine-in-one elections.

His comment came in the wake of the KMT Central Standing Committee decision on Wednesday last week to change its strategy for selecting its Hsinchu County commissioner candidate from the rules it established in October last year for nominating candidates for city mayors and county commissioners.

KMT Legislator Lin Wei-chou (林為洲), who has been considered the most likely to win the KMT’s Hsinchu primary poll, criticized the decision the next day on Facebook.

“What is the point of participating in a race if the rules are to be changed half way through? Yes, they did me in,” he wrote.

The committee said in October that when there were races where it was difficult to select candidates, the KMT should make a decision based on its rules for nominating government officials, which stipulate that a primary should be carried out entirely based on poll results, Ma’s office spokeswoman Hsu Chiao-hsin (徐巧芯) said.

The KMT has conducted primaries for races in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taichung and several other cities based on those rules, which proved the model was fair and it had been well-received by potential candidates and the media, Hsu said.

Ma believes potential controversies could be easily resolved by adhering to the original rules and avoiding decisions based on personal preferences, she said.

He also hopes the party can determine its candidates’ list soon and work together to win the elections, she added.

The nomination for the Hsinchu commissioner is being handled by KMT Vice Chairman and Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), and his team is seeking the candidate most likely to win the November election, KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) said.

The party’s goal is to win the elections and it would not make any decisions based on personal preferences, he said.

The decision to change the selection strategy was a collective and democratic one and he hopes people can respect that, he added.

Former KMT chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) also issued a statement urging the party to “adhere to its original decision and follow the rules.”

“As the highest decisionmaking body in the party, the committee should not contradicts its own decision made in the past and waver on important matters,” said Lee Chang-chi (李昶志), Hung’s office spokesman.

The committee has made several decisions in the past based on personal preferences, including replacing Hung with New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) as the KMT’s presidential candidate in 2015, he said.

To gain trust from voters, the party must adhere to its rules and eliminate its bad traditions, he said.

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