Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Central Policy Committee director Alex Tsai (蔡正元) yesterday announced that the party’s chairperson election would be moved to May 20 in order to conform with the party charter.
Tsai made the announcement after a working conference at KMT headquarters yesterday, during which the schedule for the election of four types of KMT officials and a plan to end the party’s Huang Fu-hsing (黃復興) military veterans’ branch’s separate election of party representatives were passed.
Both of the proposals are to be referred to the KMT Central Standing Committee for approval tomorrow.
According to the KMT’s preliminary schedule, the chairperson and representative elections are scheduled for May 20 next year, followed by the KMT’s Central Committee and the Central Standing Committee elections on July 8 and July 29 respectively.
Elected officials are set to be sworn in on Aug. 20 next year at a KMT national congress, Tsai said.
Tsai said the decision to move next year’s party chairperson election forward by two months is in accord with Article 17 of the KMT party charter that stipulates a chairperson election should be held three months before a national congress planned for the year the current post-holder’s term is to expire.
“In 2005, a chairperson election was held on July 16 and the winner was inaugurated at a national congress on Aug. 19, which ran against the party charter. While elections in 2013 conformed with the party charter, because the winner in the July 20 chairperson race was sworn in at a national congress on Nov. 10, the previous post-holder occupied the position longer than the statutory four years,” Tsai said.
Tsai said as the term for the first directly elected KMT chairman, Lien Chan (連戰), expired on Aug. 19, 2005, the inauguration date for the successor of KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) ought to take place on Aug. 20 and the election for the position should therefore be May 20.
Hung was elected party chairwoman on Mar. 26 to serve the remaining term of sixth KMT chairman, Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who won re-election on July 20, 2013 before stepping down on Dec. 3, 2014, to take political responsibility for the KMT’s dramatic defeat in the nine-in-one local elections that year.
Ma was succeeded by New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) on Jan. 19 last year, who resigned a year later on Jan. 16 after losing the presidential race to the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文).
As for what he called “a major election reform” involving the KMT’s pro-China Huang Fu-hsing branch, Alex Tsai said in the past, the branch was allowed to elect a certain number of party representatives in a separate election, which resulted in an unequal value of each vote cast by party members.
“From now on, the number of party representatives traditionally elected by the branch will be combined with that chosen by party members,” Alex Tsai said.
According to a source close to the KMT, who requested anonymity, the KMT has 1,147 party representatives, 102 of whom are elected by the military branch’s about 190,000 members.
Additional reporting by Lin Liang-sheng
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