Wu’s invite to KMT victors draws mixed reactions

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff Reporter

Thu, Nov 29, 2018 - Page 3

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) invitation to the party’s newly elected mayors and commissioners to participate in the Central Executive Committee meetings drew mixed reactions, with some saying that the party was heading in a positive direction, while others said that the move was not enough to reform it.

Wu extended the invitation at the first committee meeting after the nine-in-one elections, when it won leadership of 15 of 22 cities and counties.

“Our first step in reform is to respectfully invite 15 mayors and county commissioners, who represent the latest public opinion, to actively participate in the party’s decisionmaking mechanism, so that more of our agenda can better reflect public opinion. Only in this way can we work with the people, which would help both the nation and the party to move forward while promoting unity,” he said.

Committee member Yao Chiang-ling (姚江臨) proposed to change the party’s regulations to allow elected officials to become members of the Central Executive Committee by default.

However, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) said that simply adding elected officials to the committee is not enough.

They should become the core of the KMT’s decisionmaking body, as they represent the public, he said, adding that the way in which policymaking is carried out would be key.

KMT Legislator Hsu Shu-hua (許淑華) from Nantou County, who campaigned for Kaohsiung mayor-elect Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), said that Han favors the proposal, although he thinks that it would be impossible for mayors or county commissioners to attend each weekly committee meetings, given their schedules.

She said that Wu could meet with elected officials once a month, which would be more practical.

Kinmen County commissioner-elect Andy Yang (楊鎮浯) said that the party’s mayors, county commissioners and legislators from the party should together be in the majority on the committee, adding that this would be a major step forward in the party’s transformation and helpful in its governance of the nation.

New Taipei City mayor-elect Hou You-yi (侯友宜) had said in a media interview that issues concerning New Taipei City residents would be his top priority, and everything else is secondary.

In addition to including elected officials in its central executive committee, Wu credited the party’s success to the public’s expectation for an honest and efficient government, and just and prosperous society.

The KMT nominated excellent candidates that met people’s expectations, he said, adding that no KMT candidate in the election resorted to dirty tricks at the last minute to win their race.

Wu also reiterated the party’s support for its Taipei mayoral candidate, Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), who has requested a recount of ballots after losing to Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) by just 3,254 votes.

“In Taipei, there were still people voting after the polling stations were supposed to be closed at 4pm. As the polling stations that had finished by 4pm started counting the votes, voters who cast their votes after 4pm were very likely to see the early results at other polling stations online. This was a major flaw in the election,” Wu said.

Ting has followed the law in seeking a recount, adding that the party respects and supports his legal pursuit of upholding fairness of the election, he said.