Assistants of KMT legislators vent fury on Facebook

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Jan 23, 2016 - Page 3

Several assistants to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) lawmakers who are to lose their jobs after the party’s defeat in the legislative election have taken to Facebook to vent their frustration, accusing the party of abandoning them.

It is estimated that about 200 assistants to KMT legislators are to become unemployed after the party lost 29 legislative seats in the election on Saturday last week, reducing the number of KMT legislators from 64 to 35.

Frustrated by his predicament, an unidentified KMT lawmaker assistant on Thursday created a Facebook page titled “Workers of the Closed Party,” welcoming colleagues who are also set to be laid off to anonymously voice their discontent.

The page’s name is a reference to the National Alliance for Workers of Closed Factories, which was formed by former employees of several large factories who were either forced into retirement or were laid off 16 years ago without receiving any severance or retirement pay after their workplaces were shut down.

“We do not abandon the party, it is the party that has abandoned us. Ushering in reforms is not an exclusive right for the party’s select few. All to-be-unemployed assistants are welcome to voice their opinions and push for real reforms,” the page’s founder said.

A person who claims to be a KMT legislative assistant posted a message on the page Thursday evening, comparing the KMT leadership’s handling of legislative assistants with that of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in 2008, when the DPP managed to secure only 27 seats at the 113-seat legislature.

“At that time, DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) helped many of the party’s jobless legislative assistants find employment in foundations, forums and corporations that financially support the DPP. Where is the KMT leadership now?” the assistant said.

Another person said that they had not taken a day off in the past three months to campaign for KMT candidates, which entailed him to establish bonds with grassroots voters.

“Why is it that we are to lose our jobs after the party’s defeat, while KMT leadership and local staff get to live in peace? What kind of a garbage party is this?” the person said.

Others criticized younger KMT members who have been urging for party reform after last week’s elections, saying it is ironic that they had curried for favor before the elections.