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Ma's ex-aide to desert KMT if Wang Jin-pyng on presidential ticket

Ma's ex-aide to desert KMT if Wang Jin-pyng on presidential ticket

Taipei, Feb. 28 (CNA) A former aide to President Ma Ying-jeou (???) said Saturday that he will leave the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) if Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (???) is its presidential candidate in 2016. Lo Chih-Chiang (???), the former deputy secretary-general of the Presidential Office, said on his Facebook page that it "will be time to say goodbye to the Kuomintang" when the party makes Wang its standard bearer in the presidential race. He made the announcement three days after Eric Chu (???), who succeeded Ma as KMT chairman on Jan. 19, decided not to prolong a lawsuit to defend the party's decision under Ma's chairmanship to expel Wang from the party for alleged influence-peddling. Chu also reconfirmed Wang's party membership at a KMT meeting on Wednesday. Ma presided over the party's decision to kick out Wang over allegations that the speaker pulled strings to have prosecutors not appeal a higher court's not-guilty judgment against a lawmaker after the lawmaker had been found guilty of embezzlement by a lower court. The speaker successfully challenged the party's move in the Taipei District Court, which threw out the party's decision to expel him from the KMT. The district court's ruling was then upheld by the high court, but the KMT under Ma appealed the verdict again to the Supreme Court. By deciding to not pursue the appeal, Chu effectively ended the legal battle. Many KMT lawmakers lauded Chu's decision, and urged him to name Wang as his running mate in the 2016 presidential election. Ma took issue with Chu's decision, however, arguing that the court's ruling infringed on the party's power to discipline its members and that the party could not turn a blind eye to the speaker's interference with the judicial system. Lo said in his post that he admired the president's courage in publicly voicing his concerns but he also understood Chu's attempt to close the rift within the party before the 2016 legislative and presidential elections. Lo contended that Chu's decision not to take the lawsuit against Wang any further has damaged the KMT's image but it had not reduced the party's value to zero in his mind. Only if the party were to endorse Wang's candidacy in the presidential race would he be totally disappointed with the KMT and be forced to desert the party, Lo wrote. (By Kelven Huang and Maubo Chang)


Updated : 2021-09-20 20:42 GMT+08:00