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Taiwan's KMT legislators must show who they vote for as legislative speaker

KMT says those who do not vote will be severely disciplined

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Hung Meng-kai speaks at a press conference in 2017. (Facebook, Hung Meng-kai photo)

Hung Meng-kai speaks at a press conference in 2017. (Facebook, Hung Meng-kai photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Kuomintang (KMT) legislators will be required to show which candidate they have chosen to lead the Legislative Yuan when the law-making body meets for its first session on Thursday (Feb. 1).

As no party won a majority in the legislature at the Jan. 13 general election, the KMT will need all of their legislators to vote for their chosen candidates for speaker and deputy speaker of the legislature. The KMT’s Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) said on Wednesday that to ensure this happens, legislators will publicly display their choices to “show their responsibility,” per CNA.

The party added those who do not attend tomorrow’s session will be regarded as abandoning the vote and will be severely disciplined. The KMT has put forward Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), with Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) as deputy for the leadership positions.

Also on Wednesday, the Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) said they would not support any other party’s candidate for the legislative speaker role and would instead vote for their own party’s nominee. The TPP won eight seats in the legislature, compared to the KMT's 52 and the Democratic People’s Party's (DPP) 51, giving the smaller party votes that could potentially sway the outcome of the Thursday election.

According to Taiwan’s constitution, votes for legislative speaker are supposed to be cast anonymously. In practice this means legislators are not required to write their names on the ballot papers with which they choose their preferred candidate

However, they are not prevented from publicly displaying their ballot paper after they have selected a candidate and before the vote has been cast.