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Wang supporters do well in KMT election

Wang supporters do well in KMT election

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Supporters of Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng won the highest number of seats on the ruling Kuomintang’s Central Standing Committee, making it highly likely he could return to the Legislative Yuan in the January 16 elections, reports said Saturday.
A total of 32 members of the 39-seat CSC were up for election by 1,597 party delegates Saturday. The group meets each Wednesday afternoon with the party chairman in charge to discuss current affairs and reach major policy decisions.
Of the 32 original CSC members, 26 or 81 percent were re-elected Saturday, while some of the six newcomers had served on the body in the past, reports said. The term for the newly elected members has been extended from one to two years. The top vote getter was Mega Securities Chairman Liu Ta-pei, reports said.
According to interpretations by observers, at least ten to 12 members of the new CSC could be considered as Wang supporters, including a few businessmen and current and former lawmakers.
Wang has been heading the Legislative Yuan for 16 years, but his future role had been in question since party rules reportedly do not allow him to be elected again on the at-large list of lawmakers determined by the party’s percentage of the total vote.
In that case, Wang would have to run for a seat in an electoral district or retire from the Legislature altogether.
The performance of his supporters in Saturday’s election reportedly made it more likely that the CSC would eventually approve a change in the rules beneficiary to another bid by Wang.
Wang was the target of a power struggle which lasted from September 2013 until earlier this year. After allegations he had tried to use his power to influence a decision by prosecutors, President Ma Ying-jeou, who then still served as KMT chairman, tried to have him expelled from the party, which due to his at-large status would also have resulted in his removal from the Legislative Yuan.
The tactic backfired as courts repeatedly ruled in Wang’s favor that he was still a member. Earlier this year, Ma’s successor as KMT chairman, New Taipei City Mayor Eric Liluan Chu, decided not to move ahead with further appeals in the legal process, thus allowing Wang to continue in his function.