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KMT official says no one coming forward for chairman's post

No one within the Kuomintang has shown any willingness to run for the party chairman post in a by-election tentatively slated for mid-April or early May, not even acting Chairman Wu Po-hsiung, KMT Secretary-General Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said yesterday.
Wu Den-yih made the comments while answering questions from reporters amid speculation that Wu Po-hsiung is almost certain to take part in a planned by-election for the party's top post.
"No-one has come forward and displayed interest in running, and all media reports on the issue are sheer speculation," Wu Den-yih said.
Setting a schedule
The KMT is slated to finalize a timetable for the by-election in the next weekly meeting of its decision-making Central Standing Committee February 28, Wu Den-yih said, adding that it might be held in the middle of April or early May.
Meanwhile, lawmakers of the KMT party displayed mixed reactions to recent media speculation that Honorary Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) might be the one to assume the chairmanship or that Wu Po-hsiung might be taking part in the by-election.
Wu Po-hsiung, the KMT's first vice chairman, took over the post from former KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) earlier this month after Ma was indicted on corruption charges over alleged misuse of a special municipal allowance when he served as mayor of Taipei from 1998 to 2006.
Ma offered to resign as KMT chairman following his indictment and immediately announced his bid to participate in the 2008 presidential race, making him a possible opponent of Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who is also interested in representing the KMT in the presidential race. The KMT is Taiwan's largest opposition party.
Media speculation
KMT Lawmaker Wu Chih-yang, Wu Po-hsiung's son, categorically denied the media rumors that his father is gearing up to run for the party's chair.
Wu Chih-yang said that "the top priority for my father now is building party unity and pushing Ma and Wang to discuss their presidential rivalry."
According to lawmaker Hsu Shu-po, "it would be best" if Lien were to be handed the KMT chairmanship without having to take part in the by-election, and he called for members of the KMT to support this idea.
Wu Po-hsiung has yet to make public any intention to run for the KMT chairmanship, and Ma's aides had better not to speculate over the issue, Hsu said.
Lawmaker Wu Yu-shen, a protege of Ma, argued that Lien should have to run in the by-election in accordance with the party's mechanism if he is interested in assuming the KMT chairmanship.
"Whoever wants to become KMT chairman must follow the party's system and get elected through the by-election in line with the party's reform efforts," he said.

Updated : 2021-09-21 09:41 GMT+08:00