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KMT rule change favors Wang

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Kuomintang decided Wednesday to change its rules in order to allow Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng to run for re-election on the at-large list.
According to existing regulations, Wang would have been forced to run in a local election district instead of continuing to run as an at-large candidate. The latter appear on a list with seats decided according to votes cast for a political party. If a party receives 30 percent of the vote, it will occupy 30 percent of the seats reserved for the at-large candidates.
Wednesday’s decision, which was reportedly backed by at least 29 out of 39 members of the Kuomintang’s Central Standing Committee, is seen as a huge boost to Wang.
It means that the speaker is almost certain to be returned to the Legislative Yuan, though his position at its head will depend on whether the KMT will be able to secure a majority, something which has been disputed due to the ruling party’s lack of popularity.
The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party could win a majority of seats at the 113-member assembly for the first time in history, which would end Wang’s record 16 years at its head.
The speaker, who was not present at the CSC meeting, expressed his approval for the process of legislative reform and for a speaker standing above the political parties.
The changes were seen as a victory for Wang, who since 2013 has been stuck in a power struggle with the party leadership after President Ma Ying-jeou, who chaired the KMT at the time, tried to oust him over allegations of influence peddling.
When New Taipei City Mayor Eric Liluan Chu became KMT chairman earlier this year, relations with Wang gradually improved.
His presence on the at-large list was expected to improve the KMT’s election chances, especially in Southern Taiwan, which includes Wang’s native region of Greater Kaohsiung.

Updated : 2021-09-26 19:44 GMT+08:00