KMT legislator Hsu Hsin-jung quits party

KMT legislator Hsu Hsin-ying, a member of the party Central Standing Committee, has suddenly announced that she plans to quit the party. Her announcement has given rise to a flurry of speculation over where her departure might take her and whether others may follow her lead.

"Every time I find myself stuck in the Legislative Yuan, unable to do anything locally," Hsu lamented in a statement released late Tuesday. She said she had voiced her complaints to KMT chairman Eric Liluan Chu about her frustrations with the party. Chu has repeatedly asked her to stay on, she said, but she explained she can do more if she leaves the KMT to stir up more fertile ground.

Hsu said in the future if the KMT offers a good policy or bill she will support it, but the “long-term bipartisan environment in Taiwan” calls for a “third force" that will help bring about changes in the island’s political schema.

Born in in 1972 in Xinfeng Township, Hsinchu County, the daughter of former Xinfeng township head Hsu Ching-lan, Hsu Hsin-ying holds a Ph.D in civil engineering from Jiaotong University. In 2012 she polled 171,466 votes in the Eighth Legislative elections, the highest total island-wide for any single candidate.

Media reports suggest that Hsu could join the Republican Party, a new party being organized by former PFP Legislator Chen Chen-sheng, as party chairman.

Another potential question mark could be Hsu Hsin-ying’s third younger brother Hsu Shih-hsun, who ran as an independent for the Taipei City Council in the city’s Songshan Xinyi District.

KMT Legislator Luo Shu-lei was critical of Hsu Hsin-ying when she heard rumors that she may leave the party. She accused Hsu of being a “fair-weather friend” of the party who enjoys hanging around when all are going well but then flees when things turn nasty. “They like to share the music,” Luo quipped, “but not the hard times”.

Luo said this is not the first time the KMT has encountered difficulties. Party chairman Chu is willing to listen to suggestions and opinions from legislators and will not force them to do things that are against the will of the people, she said. Hsu ‘s decision to leave at this time is "really wrong,” she said: “This is not good for her.”

Asked whether other KMT legislators might be tempted to quit and follow Hsu, Luo answered emphatically, "No. Well – not me, anyway."