KMT to hold postponed congress at Taichung Stadium

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Oct 17, 2013 - Page 3

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday announced that it will hold its delayed party congress at the Taichung Stadium in Wuci (梧棲), Greater Taichung, on Nov. 10, and said that Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) would be invited to attend the event despite the party’s ongoing legal battle with him over his revoked party membership.

The congress, which the party originally planned to hold at National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei, has been delayed since Sept. 29 because of multiple planned rallies and protests against President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).

The party considered several venues before reaching a consensus on holding the event in the stadium.

KMT Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) said that as it is located in Greater Taichung’s harbor district, the stadium is easily accessible via various modes of transport and party members are familiar with the location since a congress has been held there before.

The KMT holds its party congress once a year, at which more than 1,000 party delegates and top officials gather to discuss major party policies. This year’s event will also feature the formal approval of Ma’s re-election as KMT chairman.

Wang, who is fighting a legal battle to retain his party membership, will reportedly also be on the invitation list.

“All party lawmakers will be invited as delegates, and Wang will also receive the invitation,” KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) said.

While the party has kept the time and location of the congress secret in an attempt to avoid large-scale rallies by anti-Ma groups, the Greater Taichung City Government confirmed last week that the KMT had filed an application to use the stadium for a party event on Nov. 9 and Nov. 10, which the city government approved.

Civic groups and pro-independence activists, including the 929 Civil Movement Alliance, have vowed to hold rallies against Ma “whenever and wherever the congress is held.”

Yang said Ma has instructed the party to work with local police and national security divisions to ensure that the event proceeds smoothly, while simultaneously guaranteeing the public’s right to hold rallies.