Ma’s rival for KMT chair says poll unfair

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Jun 26, 2013 - Page 3

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Central Standing Committee member Hsieh Kun-hung (謝坤宏), who is running against President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in the KMT chairmanship election, yesterday expressed concern about the fairness of the party’s candidacy review process and urged the KMT to conduct the election fairly.

Hsieh, accompanied by his lawyer, Tsai Hui-ling (蔡慧玲), accused the KMT of attempting to deny his candidacy by voiding some of the signatures he collected to back his nomination and threatened to file a motion to suspend the poll if his candidacy was not approved.

“Many friends have reminded me that the party could rule out some of the signatures I presented, leaving me ineligible to be a candidate. If so, I will request that the election be suspended in the name of fairness,” he told a press conference.

Hsieh presented 20,592 signatures from party members on Friday and submitted his registration in order to run for the chairmanship. The number of signatures he collected passed the party’s threshold of about 12,000, or about 3 percent of the 380,000 members with the right to vote in party chairman elections.

Ma, who registered his re-election bid for the chairmanship on Thursday, collected 80,000 signatures backing his candidacy.

The KMT Election Review Committee will review and confirm the candidate applications.

Tsai said there are allegations that the KMT will void some of the signatures Hsieh has collected because they were from party members who also signed Ma’s petition. Hsieh could lose his candidacy if too many of his signatures are nullified.

“We call on the KMT not to boycott any legitimate candidates. The party should understand public opinion and respect democracy,” she said.