Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus convener Sufin Siluko (廖國棟) yesterday urged KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) to step down over the party leadership’s controversial passage of a motion to move next year’s KMT chairperson election forward by two months.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a legislative plenary session, Sufin said the decision at last week’s KMT Central Standing Committee meeting to exclude members on leaves of absence violated party regulations.
“As a party caucus, we play by the [legislature’s] rules on procedure on a daily basis,” Sufin said. “The KMT’s regulations do not allow the chairwoman to exclude committee members on leaves of absence as eligible participants in order to reach a quorum.”
Lauding a civil suit filed by committee member Yao Chiang-lin (姚江臨) on Monday, which seeks to invalidate the motion, as being “based on reasonable grounds,” Sufin said KMT headquarters should respect the system and adhere to regulations, because a failure to do so could result in the party falling apart.
“A party leader blatantly flaunting the law and the party’s internal regulations is enough to warrant calling for them to step down,” he said.
On Wednesday last week, Hung railroaded the motion to move up the election through the committee, despite less than half of the 40 eligible participants being in attendance, as KMT regulations stipulate that 20 is the minimum requirement for a quorum.
Hung reportedly cited regulations promulgated by the Ministry of the Interior to change the quorum requirement by excluding members on leaves of absence from the total number of members when calculating a quorum.
The motion, unveiled by KMT Central Policy Committee director Alex Tsai (蔡正元) on Dec. 19, aims to move the chairperson election from July 20 to May 20 next year to conform with the party charter and eliminate separate elections for party representatives by the Huang Fu-hsing military veterans’ branch.
Hung was elected party chairwoman on March 26 to serve the remainder of the term which started when former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was re-elected on July 20, 2013.
Ma resigned on Dec. 3, 2014, to take responsibility for the KMT’s dramatic defeat in the nine-in-one local elections in November 2014.
He was succeeded by New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) on Jan. 19 last year, who resigned nearly a year later on Jan. 16 after losing the presidential election to the Democratic Progressive Party’s candidate, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).
Separately yesterday, former vice president Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), also of the KMT, said during a trip to Kaohsiung that as any major changes implemented by KMT headquarters could have profound and far-reaching effects on the whole party, they should be subject to thorough deliberation.
“Any proposed changes should also be subject to approval by the party’s highest decisionmaking body, the Central Standing Committee ... and cannot be decided by just one person,” Wu said.
The manner in which the motion was passed last week demonstrated that some KMT cadres have the wrong impression that major changes can be decided by a small group of people, he said.
It also showed thoughtlessness and a lack of proper prior communication, Wu said, adding that significant problems have been caused when KMT headquarters passes motions boycotted by committee members.
“The current situation is detrimental to party unity... The party chairwoman and members of the committee should begin negotiations as soon as possible, and work out a proper solution,” he said.
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