Former KMT lawmaker quits party

TAOYUAN RACE::Saying the KMT has lost the public’s trust, Yang Li-huan said she did not get nominated because she lacks the right political or financial connections

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Aug 10, 2018 - Page 3

Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Yang Li-huan (楊麗環) yesterday announced that she is leaving the party to run for Taoyuan mayor as an independent, after the party reiterated its support for KMT Legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖) as its candidate.

Yang said on Facebook that it was with a heavy heart that she had decided to leave the KMT.

“I have been a politician for 22 years, having started as a borough warden,” she said in the statement.

“I have striven for the development of my hometown, Taoyuan. However, my efforts have not been appreciated by the party leadership, because I do not have a pedigree and I am not backed by any heavyweight, faction or corporation,” she wrote.

“What I have always relied on is the support of my constituents for my services,” she said.

“When the party leadership has lost the public’s trust, I have to choose a path that is based on public opinion to speed up Taoyuan’s development and give hope to all KMT members that want to see Taoyuan prosper and serve the people,” she wrote.

The KMT leadership has allowed infighting and factionalism to plague the party, which has blinded it from its ideals, she said.

“How can a party like this achieve unity and lead Taiwanese down a path of prosperity and stability?” she wrote.

Chen expressed regret at Yang’s decision, saying it would “please the KMT’s enemies and cause dismay among its supporters.”

Urging Yang to give her decision “a second thought,” Chen said: “Only through unity can there be strength, and only through strength can Taoyuan revisit its glory days.”

“I hope that in the party’s most difficult times, Yang will repay the party that nurtured her with gratitude. The KMT has not mistreated her,” he said in a statement.

Yang was the third politician to leave the KMT to join the Nov. 24 nine-in-one elections.

Independent Legislator Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) last month parted ways with the KMT to run for Hsinchu County commissioner after the party insisted on nominating Hsinchu Deputy Commissioner Yang Wen-ke (楊文科).

Chiayi City Council Speaker Hsiao Shu-li (蕭淑麗) in February left the party to run for Chiayi mayor, after the KMT tapped former Chiayi mayor Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠) to run for her old job.