Sun, Sep 08, 2019 - Page 3 News List

KMT-New Party split to quash joint celebration

By Shih Hsiao-kuang  /  Staff reporter

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the New Party are not likely to hold an event together to celebrate this year’s Double Ten National Day, sources said yesterday.

At last year’s celebration, New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming (郁慕明) told attendees that “the two parties are one family,” to which KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) responded that Yok’s remarks were “heartwarming.”

However, the KMT and the pan-blue Songtao Club (松濤社) seem to be distancing themselves from the New Party in making plans for this year’s celebrations, sources said.

Relations between the two parties have soured, while the New Party was listed as a co-organizer of the KMT’s previous national day celebrations, the two would not be “joining hands” this year, a KMT member said yesterday, on condition of anonymity.

The Songtao Club, which supports keeping the national flag unchanged, also supports preserving the nation’s name as the Republic of China and does not agree with the New Party’s pro-China position.

The club is to meet with KMT officials on Thursday to finalize whether the two are to hold a joint celebration this year, sources familiar with the matter said.

A joint celebration would be more of a political rally to mobilize support for Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the KMT’s presidential candidate, with Han delivering a speech, the sources said.

If Han cannot make it, his wife, Lee Chia-fen (李佳芬), or his daughter, Han Bing (韓冰), would be invited to speak, the sources said, adding that support would also be mobilized for legislative candidates.

The split between the KMT and the New Party might have been sparked by proposals at a New Party congress last month that the party support a “one country, two systems” model in Taiwan and peaceful unification across the Taiwan Strait, they said.

The New Party has named former party secretary-general Yang Shih-kuang (楊世光) as its presidential candidate on Jan. 11 next year.

The party plans to nominate candidates for legislative seats in Taipei’s Shilin (士林) and Beitou (北投) districts, and urges people to support it when voting, something that worked against it when it promoted the same candidates as the KMT, the sources said.

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