Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday appointed local chapter chairpersons in all 22 cities and counties in accordance with a resolution passed during the party’s 20th national congress on Sunday.
The resolution gave Wu the ability to decide whether to hold local chapter chairperson elections in October, KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) said.
Of the appointees, 10 were incumbents who are to continue in their posts or head a different chapter, including Taipei’s Chen Yung-jen (陳永仁), Taoyuan’s Yang Ming-sheng (楊敏盛) and Tainan’s Chuang Chan-kuei (莊占魁).
Two appointees are KMT officials that have been promoted: former Taichung chapter deputy chairman Chen Ming-chen (陳明振) and former Miaoli County chapter deputy chairman Lin Hsiang-chuan (林祥川).
The remainder were appointed because they are considered by Wu to be “local talent,” that most notable being former Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co general manager Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), who was named Kaohsiung chapter chairman and is a prospective candidate for next year’s Kaohsiung mayoral election.
Others include former Sanchong (三重) mayor Lee Chien-lung (李乾龍), who was named New Taipei City chapter chairman; Taiwan Yunlin Irrigation Association head Lin Wen-jui (林文瑞), who is to lead the Yunlin County chapter; and former legislator Lu Hsueh-chang (呂學樟), who is to head the Hsinchu City chapter.
The KMT Central Standing Committee last week said that Wu would make appointments for some regions, while others where there is less competition between factions would hold direct elections.
Earlier this year during his KMT chairperson election campaign, Wu promised to honor a conclusion of the party’s 19th national congress last year to hold the elections.
Some local chapter heads resigned or retired after last year’s congress, Hung said, adding that Wu’s appointments were aimed at filling the vacancies in preparation for next year’s local elections.
Asked if Wu was reneging on his campaign promise, Hung said that Wu made the appointments based on Sunday’s resolution, which overrode last year’s resolution.
The KMT said it would decide whether to hold chapter chairperson elections after assessing the party’s campaigns for next year’s local elections.
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