With the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) party chairmanship election entering its final stages, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), the sole candidate, is planning to hold an event at the Taipei City Hall today to garner support.
The election will be held during the party’s national congress on Saturday.
According to KMT regulations, would-be candidates have to garner the support of at least 3 percent of KMT members with voting rights, about 10,000, to enter the race.
KMT Central Standing Committee member Hsieh Kun-hung (謝坤宏) had planned to run, but was disqualified on June 29 after the KMT’s election review commission ruled that only 6,610 of the 20,952 signatures Hsieh collected were valid.
Ma’s campaign office spokesman Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) said New Taipei City (新北市) Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) and Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) are expected to attend Saturday’s event.
Ma became KMT party chairman in 2005, but stepped down in 2007 after becoming embroiled in a special allowance fund case during his tenure as Taipei mayor. He was re-elected as party chairman in 2009 after he was cleared of any wrongdoing.
Yang also said that due to the damage caused by Typhoon Soulik, the office has made slight adjustments to the multiple rounds of events Ma intends to hold for supporters.
Plans for rally events are planned for Greater Kahoisung tomorrow, Greater Tainan on Thursday and Chiayi County and city on Friday, Yang said.
Meanwhile, a source said that Chu had already asked all New Taipei City government officials that are KMT members to attend the rally in an effort to show support for Ma’s chairmanship bid.
The source said that Chu’s absence from the previous rally held in New Taipei City had caused some to speculate whether Chu intended to stand against Ma in the party chairman elections.