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Vice premier denies reactivating KMT membership for election

Vice premier denies reactivating KMT membership for election

Taipei, Oct. 27 (CNA) Vice Premier Jiang Yi-huah said Saturday he had decided to reactivate his membership of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) and that his decision to do so was not linked to reports he might be selected as a KMT candidate for the 2014 Taipei mayoral election. Jiang told reporters he had already thought of reactivating his membership on Feb. 6 when he assumed office as vice premier. He rebutted media reports concerning his possible involvement in the upcoming election. He said he was prevented from considering his membership status in the months after he took office due to sensitive issues such as the relaxation of a ban against U.S. beef imports, increased fuel and electricity prices, and corruption allegations involving former Cabinet Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih. Now that those matters have been dealt with and after careful deliberation, Jiang said, he had decided to reactivate his membership because as a vice premier, he is responsible for policy formation, which includes explaining the Cabinet's policies to the ruling party and the Legislature. Jiang said he will complete the reactivation procedure next week. The vice premier has been serving in government positions as an independent since he was appointed to head the Research, Development and Evaluation Commission in May 2008. Earlier in the day, KMT spokesman Yin Wei explained that Jiang, who was recruited by the KMT when he was a university student, is "a disconnected member of the party." Jiang asked the party recently to reactivate his membership, he added. With Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin scheduled to finish his two terms of service in two years, there have been reports that President Ma Ying-jeou was in favor of Jiang serving as the KMT's candidate for the 2014 Taipei mayoral election. Jiang rebutted the reports Saturday, saying they are groundless because the KMT employs an internal party election system, under which the party produces candidates for all national and local elections. "I do not have any thought or plan to participate in any election," he said. Jiang's decision to return to the party was welcomed by many KMT members, including Hau, who said Jiang will help the party promote its policies. KMT Central Committee member Sean Lien, who has been regarded as one of the top contenders for the KMT's ticket for the mayoral election, also praised Jiang's decision as being "good news." Asked by reporters on whether he has been seeking grassroots support from party members for his bid for the nomination, Lien declined to make comments, saying "at the moment, the most important is getting my job done." Meanwhile, amid reports of the beginning of a battle within KMT among its would-be candidates for the election, opposition Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Su Tseng-chang said Saturday that his party will definitely have the best candidate who can serve the people, no matter who represents the KMT. (By Hsieh Chia-chen, Johnson Sun, Lee Shu-hua, Justine Su, Liu Li-jung and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-08-04 21:48 GMT+08:00