KMT CSC OK’s extraordinary congress History will do me justice: candidate Hung Hsiu-chu
The Kuomintang (KMT) Central Standing Committee (CSC) yesterday passed a motion to convene an extraordinary national party congress in a move to oust current presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu ( ) as the party’s nominee.
A tense day in a chaotic week continued to stoke the party’s core, pitting Hung and her supporters against an accelerated stance taken by party members in the upper hierarchy, the CSC and its lawmakers. The motion, submitted by CSC member Chiang Shuo-ping ( ) last week, was approved overwhelmingly, with 28 CSC members in favor out of 39 members. The extraordinary congress is slated for Oct. 17.
Before it was passed, members of the committee went beyond an earlier version calling the party to build consensus, adding a clause that “if party representatives believe that campaigning difficulties of the party’s candidate could not be addressed, it therefore requests that Chairman ( Eric) Chu ( ) bravely shoulder the burden in order to replace the current candidate.”
Addressing the CSC after the motion was passed, Chu appealed for the party to speak honestly about what needed to be done to improve its current prospects. While acknowledging Hung’s campaign efforts and understanding why she may feel aggrieved by current moves calling for her replacement, he criticized her cross-strait policy viewpoints as veering away from the party and mainstream standpoint. He also asked Hung to put the needs of the party ahead of her own.
Appearing in an evening press conference, Hung told the press that if the fault lay in her communication with party members, she was willing to sit down to discuss or debate issues, especially on her cross-strait policy stance. Hung found it “hard to accept” Chu’s criticisms of her viewpoints on relations with China, which she has deemed of paramount importance in finding “a correct path” for the nation. She told reporters that she had no plans to leave the KMT.
Earlier, she deemed the need for an extraordinary party congress “specious” and proposed with unjust motives. In a press release, she called the actions taken by her party regrettable and bringing it to a new dilemma. She later called upon party representatives to defend the values of the KMT during the party congress.
Protesters supporting Hung congregated outside KMT headquarters in downtown Taipei and faced off with police who cordoned off the entrance to the building in which the CSC meeting was being convened. Singing songs and shouting slogans in support of Hung, some also expressed anger at Chu, demanding that he resign as party chairman.
After scuffles broke out in the crowd and a car window was smashed, Hung later denounced violence as a means of solving the current impasse inside the party.
1. Supporters of Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu congregate outside party headquarters in Taipei, yesterday. Some of Hung’s supporters demanded the resignation of KMT Chairman Eric Chu as its Central Standing Committee passed a motion to withdraw the candidacy of Hung in favor of Chu.
2. Supporters of KMT presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu carry a figurine of late President Chiang Kai Shek during a rally in front of party headquarters in Taipei. Supporters waved flags, sang songs and gave speeches to support the embattled Hung, whose candidacy may be withdrawn by the party. 3. KMT Chairman Eric Chu speaks to the party’s Central Standing Committee yesterday. The committee passed a motion to convene a provisional national party congress on Oct. 24. Party representatives could choose to replace Hung in favor of Chu.