Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Acting Chairman Lin Rong-te (林榮德) said he would urge all Central Standing Committee (CSC) members older than 60 to step down tomorrow, a call that has received a mixed reaction from other KMT members.
The committee is scheduled to meet tomorrow.
Lin, who turns 61 this year, told the Chinese-language China Times in an interview published on its Web site on Sunday evening that he would be resigning from the committee.
The departure of older members would allow younger KMT members to join the decisionmaking body, the newspaper cited him as saying.
As acting party chairman, he hopes to create a new platform for reforming the KMT, so his replacement could lead the party in exploring its future policies, he said.
Hopefully, KMT mayors, county and city councilors, and legislators would make up 80 to 90 percent of the CSC membership, he said.
Lin became acting chairman on Wednesday last week after former chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) stepped down to take responsibility for the party’s drubbing in the Jan. 11 elections.
A new chairperson and Central Standing Committee are to be elected on March 7.
KMT Acting Secretary-General William Tseng (曾銘宗) yesterday told reporters that he strongly supports Lin’s idea, but the way in which it should be carried out should be “subtler.”
“Hopefully, we would able to reach an agreement with relatively senior committee members who do not have public support, so that they would forgo committee elections in the future,” he said at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
During tomorrow’s meeting, he also hopes to get a plan passed to establish a reform committee that would consist of the party’s mayors, county commissioners, legislators and councilors, as well as members who can represent the younger generations and academia, he said.
The KMT’s reform plans should cover four key areas: restructuring its decisionmaking body, its cross-strait stance and finances, and recruiting younger members, he said.
The KMT spends more than NT$200 million (US$6.68 million) annually, so it must reduce expenditures and increase its revenue, he said.
Lee Cho-ping (李昭平), who resigned from the CSC last week, agreed with Lin’s proposal to have older members step down.
The party must reform completely and allow its younger members to take on more responsibilities if it is to improve, he said.
However, CSC member Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟) said the key to reform should be passion, not age.
KMT regulations state that anyone who is a Central Committee or Central Advisory Committee member can take part in the CSC election, and there is no ban on those older than 60 from running, Lu said.
KMT legislator-at-large nominee Yen Yu-lan (葉毓蘭) said that Lin’s proposal could constitute age discrimination.
The party should include as many people as possible in its reforms, instead of “viewing things in black and white,” she told reporters in Taichung.
Additional reporting by Lin Liang-sheng and Chang Ching-ya
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