Thu, Feb 06, 2020 - Page 2 News List

KMT Youth League says chair election should be put off

DIFFERING VIEW:The league said that the KMT should instead be focusing on internal reform or helping with virus prevention efforts

By Shih Hsiao-kuang and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Youth League members outside the party’s headquarters in Taipei yesterday call for the chairperson by-election and a petition to recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu to be delayed.

Photo: Shih Hsiao-kuang, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Youth League yesterday called on the party to postpone its chairperson by-election.

Former KMT chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) last month resigned after the party’s defeats in the Jan. 11 elections.

The KMT should put off the election and help with prevention efforts for the 2019 novel coronavirus, KMT Central Review Committee member Chang Ya-ping (張雅屏) told a news conference outside KMT headquarters in Taipei.

Efforts surrounding a petition to recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) should also be put on hold in the interest of cooperating on disease prevention, he said.

Chang had expressed interest in running in the by-election, but later decided not to.

Former KMT Youth League secretary-general Lee Zheng-hao (李正皓) said he doubted whether either of the two candidates registered for the by-election — former KMT vice chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), a former Taipei mayor, and KMT Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) — would arouse public interest.

The two candidates also did not wish to touch upon sensitive topics, Lee added.

Although the KMT has said it is not pro-China, it has been unwilling to deal with controversial legislator-at-large-elect Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷), a retired army lieutenant general, or the “image associated with Han Kuo-yu,” he said.

The KMT should expel Wu Sz-huai and not replace him; critically examine Han’s public image and have him face the recall petition on his own; and critically examine the party’s “reactionary culture” and apologize to members that it had expelled or punished for criticizing it, Lee said.

An incoming chairperson would only hold the post for one year and two months, so it would be more helpful to reform the party as a whole rather than elect a new chairperson, Lee said.

Former KMT Youth League head Lin Chia-hsing (林家興) said he felt the by-election was being rushed, and that the KMT was not allowing enough time for candidates to discuss their political views.

The one day planned for discussion — Wednesday next week — would be insufficient for those inside and outside the party to understand the candidates’ positions on party reform issues, Lin said.

The league was attempting to address this problem by holding a mock debate session at the news conference and inviting former high-level party members, party workers and assistants to participate in it, he said.

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