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By-election for chairman is legal: KMT

By-election for chairman is legal: KMT

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Kuomintang on Wednesday rejected allegations that its weekend by-election to pick a new chairman went against its own regulations.
The by-election became necessary when President Ma Ying-jeou resigned last month to take responsibility for the party’s shattering defeat in the November 29 local elections. Vice President Wu Den-yih took over as acting chairman, and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Liluan Chu is the only candidate in the January 17 by-election by party members. He is scheduled to take office next Monday.
An independent candidate in a legislative by-election, Chen Shu-fen, filed a legal suit Tuesday claiming Ma’s resignation violated party rules and Saturday’s by-election was therefore invalid. The election should not go ahead, and Ma should stay on as party leader, she argued. The woman is reportedly a member of the KMT, but is running against the official party candidate in the February 7 Miaoli County vote.
KMT spokesman Charles Chen on Wednesday rejected her allegations. There were rules that the president would automatically serve as party chairman, but there were no stipulations barring him from resigning his KMT position without leaving the presidency, Chen said.
If the KMT banned its chairman from resigning, it would violate both civil and criminal law, the spokesman said. He condemned attempts to divide party members and called on them to cast their ballot in the weekend election.
The Ministry of Justice said it could not comment on an individual case.
As the only candidate, Chu is certain to be elected. In the weeks leading up to the vote, he has traveled around the country to expound on his views. When he declared his candidacy last month, he proposed constitutional reform, including lowering the voting age to 18 and adopting a parliamentary system. After an outcry against the likelihood that direct presidential elections would be abolished, he later softened his position to say that the president should have the right to set foreign, defense and China policies, in a structure similar to France’s Fifth Republic.


Updated : 2021-09-22 20:11 GMT+08:00