KMT member who failed with presidential nomination seeks seismic reforms

Chang Ya-chung pledges to transform KMT as he announces bid to run for chairman

Chang Ya-chung (Facebook photo)

Chang Ya-chung (Facebook photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The key for effective reform of the Kuomintang (KMT) lies in tearing down the wall of plutocracy, said Taiwanese political scientist Chang Ya-chung (張亞中), after the party lost badly in the Saturday elections (Jan. 11).

Chang, who failed in the presidential nomination primary last year, has launched a bid to run for the chairmanship of Taiwan’s largest opposition party. Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) tendered his resignation to take responsibility for the party’s rout.

Chang laid out his manifesto to bring about seismic change, which includes restructuring the party’s organization, and reshaping the stance of the party. Also, he proposed that the party clarify its views on national identity, and negotiate a peace agreement with China, according to a statement on his Facebook.

He lashed out at the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) separatist movement by saying it put cross-strait stability in danger. Upholding the core value of the KMT, which is to create long-term peace on the two sides of the strait, is what matters most, he said.

Chang was particularly critical of the party’s antiquated institutions, which he blamed for discouraging innovation and creating obstacles for new blood by restricting qualification. He said decision-makers in the party should be determined through direct elections and every member of the party should be eligible to run for any party position, including chairmanship.