KMT mulls changes to nom­i­na­tion rules

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY YUAN-MING CHIAO

Se­nior Kuom­intang (KMT) politi­cians yes­ter­day mulled changes to their pres­i­den­tial pri­mary rules be­fore a cen­tral stand­ing com­mit­tee meet­ing con­venes to fi­nal­ize the pro­ce­dures on April 8.

Party lead­ers and law­mak­ers will fi­nal­ize the sched­ul­ing and for­mal pro­ce­dures for the KMT’s pres­i­den­tial and vice-pres­i­den­tial ticket for the Jan­uary 2016 na­tion­wide elec­tion.

Leg­isla­tive Speaker Wang Jin­pyng ( ) said he “checked” with KMT Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Lee Shih- chuan ( ) about the timetable for the party’s nom­i­na­tion sched­ule be­fore leav­ing for an of­fi­cial visit to Ja­pan.

So far, only Deputy Leg­isla­tive Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (

) an­nounced last week that she would seek the party’s nom­i­na­tion, while party heavy­weights in­clud­ing KMT Chair­man Eric Chu (

) and Vice Pres­i­dent Wu Denyih ( ) have not for­mally an­nounced their in­ten­tions to run for pres­i­den­tial of­fice.

Cur­rent Party Pol­icy Ques­tioned

Ac­cord­ing to Lee, the party’s pro­ce­dure and timetable for its pres­i­den­tial and vice-pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nees will be dis­cussed and fi­nal­ized on Wed­nes­day dur­ing its weekly Cen­tral Stand­ing Com­mit­tee (CSC) meet­ing.

Al­ready be­fore the meet­ing, KMT lead­ers and law­mak­ers have crit­i­cized the party’s cur­rent nom­i­na­tion sys­tem, which op­er­ates on a sys­tem that al­lo­cates votes from party mem­bers (30 per­cent) and public opin­ion polls (70 per­cent).

“Due to the party’s cur­rent state, I think the time has passed when a de­ci­sion for a nom­i­na­tion was made be­hind closed doors,” said Deputy Leg­isla­tive Speaker Hung. She rec­om­mended that the party adopt nom­i­na­tion pro­ce­dures that elim­i­nated the 30 per­cent al­lo­ca­tion from party mem­bers to re­duce the per­cep­tion gap be­tween the public and the party’s ideas. CSC mem­ber Lin Jung-te ( ), an ally of Leg­isla­tive Speaker Wang sur­mised that if the party did not adopt a nom­i­na­tion sys­tem based en­tirely on public opin­ion polls, the KMT could suf­fer fur­ther from out­side crit­i­cism and in­ter­nal di­vi­sion. KMT Law­maker Lu Chi­achen ( ) urged the cen­tral com­mit­tee to se­ri­ously con­sider the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of keep­ing the cur­rent sys­tem, which might re­peat di­vi­sion sim­i­lar to the Taipei City may­oral nom­i­na­tion battle be­tween Sean Lien and KMT leg­is­la­tor Ting Shou-chung ( ).

Lee said that any changes pro­posed dur­ing Wed­nes­day, if passed, would be re­flected on an up­dated party pro­ce­dure for the pri­maries. The fi­nal ver­sion will be made public on April 15. Ac­cord­ing to KMT reg­u­la­tions, po­ten­tial can­di­dates in ad­di­tion to com­plet­ing ap­pli­ca­tion forms must gather the signatures of 5 per­cent of all KMT party mem­bers ( ap­prox­i­mately 17,000 signatures) by midMay.

Mir­ror­ing Op­po­si­tion Pol­icy?

The Demo­cratic

Pro­gres­sive Party cur­rently uti­lizes a nom­i­na­tion sys­tem that is based com­pletely on public opin­ion polls. It scrapped a 30-70 al­lo­ca­tion sys­tem used cur­rently by the KMT in Jan­uary 2011. Party of­fi­cials in­di­cate that bas­ing nom­i­na­tions en­tirely on public opin­ion polls rather than party votes al­lowed the DPP to gar­ner more main­stream sup­port. In 2013, a move within the party to re­sume the 30-70 al­lo­ca­tion sys­tem was flatly de­feated

The DPP nom­i­nated party Chair­woman Tsai Ing-wen ( ) as its pres­i­den­tial can­di­date on Feb. 15.

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