The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Central Standing Committee has decided to push back this year’s elections for chairperson and party delegates, KMT Culture and Communications Committee director-general Alicia Wang (王育敏) said yesterday.
According to election procedures passed by the committee on May 5, the elections for KMT chairperson and delegates to the party’s 21st National Congress are to be held on July 24.
Under the previously approved date, people seeking to run in the elections would have to register their candidacies on June 7 or June 8.
Committee members agreed at yesterday’s weekly meeting to postpone the elections in light of the COVID-19 situation, Wang told reporters in a virtual briefing after the meeting.
They also agreed that they would discuss the timeline of the elections at the first committee meeting to take place after the Central Epidemic Command Center lowers the COVID-19 alert to level 2, she said.
A nationwide level 3 COVID-19 alert is in effect until June 14.
The committee did not discuss whether KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang’s (江啟臣) term — which is set to end on Aug. 20 — would be extended or whether a committee member would take his place as acting chairperson should the election be delayed past that date, Wang said.
She reiterated that the committee would wait until after the COVID-19 alert has been lowered to level 2 to discuss details about the elections.
At the beginning of yesterday’s virtual committee meeting, Chiang said he agreed with proposals raised by committee members to delay the elections.
Chiang said he looks forward to the elections taking place after the COVID-19 situation stabilizes.
The domestic COVID-19 situation has become more severe than expected and its impact on people’s lives continues to grow, he said.
While the public has over the past year worked hard to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the government does not seem to have been as well-prepared, Chiang added.
Chiang won the party’s chairperson by-election on March 7 last year and was sworn in two days later.
The by-election was held to fill the vacancy left by former KMT chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who stepped down after the party’s defeat in the presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 11 last year.
Chiang on Feb. 20 announced that he would seek re-election as KMT chairman.
Additional reporting by CNA
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