The Presidential Office yesterday denied that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) wanted to return to the chairmanship of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) after Saturday’s elections.
A story in the latest issue of Chinese-language Next Magazine, published yesterday, said that Ma wanted to return to the KMT’s top post and would seek the seat in accordance with the party’s regulations.
The magazine said that since KMT Chairman and presidential candidate Eric Chu (朱立倫) would have to resign if the KMT loses at the polls, Ma who is “chairman ex officio” according to the KMT’s constitution, could return to the position as Chu was elected to the job in January last year only to fill the rest of Ma’s term after he resigned as chairman on Dec. 3, 2014, to take responsibility for the party’s poor showing in the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 29.
Presidential Office spokesperson Charles Chen (陳以信) said Ma has no intention of returning to the KMT chairmanship and there is no regulation in the party’s constitution concerning such a return.
“That is not a possibility,” Chen said.
People should stop circulating such rumors as the president had already made it clear during a visit to Nantou County on Nov. 24 last year that such speculation was unfounded, he said.
The magazine cited a source in the pan-blue camp as saying that Ma that has sought support from Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), via Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), for a return to the chairmanship.
According to the Next story, Gou said that National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Chairman Yu Zhengsheng (俞正聲) has voiced his support for Ma’s return as KMT chairman because Beijing does not wish to see the KMT crumble after the elections.
The story said that Beijing has asked former vice president and former KMT chairman Lien Chan (連戰) to feel out Wang’s attitude over the matter, but has not received an answer.
Chen was not the only one to dismiss the magazine story, Hon Hai did as well.
And when Wang was asked by reporters whether he would support Ma’s re-election, he said: “[Let’s] talk about it later.”
Chu’s campaign manager, former Taichung mayor Jason Hu (胡自強), said the possibility of Ma’s return “is extremely slim,” adding that Ma resigned as chairman due to the  election rout so “I think it would be difficult for him to come back.”
Additional reporting by CNA
It took director Chong Keat Aun (張吉安) nearly a decade to complete Snow in Midsummer (五月雪), a deft chronicle of Malaysia’s May 13 incident told through one woman’s search for her brother and father. Although only his second feature, it led the field at yesterday’s Golden Horse Awards with nine nominations. Chong said it had been a struggle to get people to share their memories of the intercommunal violence following the 1969 national election, known among the country’s ethnic Chinese community as “513.” “My father, for example, would shut the conversation down if my mother or grandma even mentioned the topic,” Chong said
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China has been caused by at least seven types of pathogens, and small children, elderly people and immunocompromised people should temporarily avoid unnecessary visits to China. The recent outbreak of respiratory illnesses in China is mainly in the north and among children, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said on Monday. Data released by the Chinese National Health Commission on Sunday showed that among children aged one to four, the main pathogens were influenza viruses and rhinoviruses, while among children aged five to 14, the main pathogens
A new poll of Taiwanese voters found the top opposition candidate for president jumping past the ruling party’s hopeful into the lead position ahead of January’s election — the latest twist in a drama-filled race. Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) presidential candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) had an approval rating of 31.9 percent versus 29.2 percent for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Vice President William Lai (賴清德), the poll released yesterday by the Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation showed. The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential candidate, New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜), ranked third with 23.6 percent, according to the survey conducted
A New Taipei City hotpot restaurant could be fined after a rat dropped from the ceiling and landed on a customer’s plate last week, the New Taipei City Department of Health said yesterday after conducting an inspection. A woman recently posted on the “I am a Banciao resident” (我是板橋人) social media group saying that she had been eating with a friend at Chien Tu Shabu Shabu Hotpot Restaurant’s Shuangshi B branch in Banciao District (板橋). “While still eating, a big rat suddenly dropped down from the ceiling, landing on a plate next to a hotpot,” she said. “Later on, a member of