Lawmakers emerge as KMT power center

The China Post staff

The 210 newly elected members of the Central Committee of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) held their first meeting yesterday evening and picked the 31 members of the party’s policymaking Central Standing Committee (CSC).

Legislators continued to dominate the power center of Taiwan’s largest political party. A total of 16 lawmakers were elected to the standing committee, accounting for more than half of the total seats. The actual number lawmakers in the CSC increases to 17 when including Legislator Wang Jin-pyng, who is concurrently president of the Legislative Yuan and a vice chairman of the KMT. As a vice chairman, Wang is ensured a seat on the CSC and will attend the CSC meetings every Wednesday morning to formulate major policies and decisions.

The sharp increase in the number of legislators, who are directly elected by voters in their constituencies and can reflect more of the public’s opinions, on the CSC is expected to keep the KMT closer to the people. The party vows to regain power again after losing the presidential election more than one years ago. During the morning session of the election for Central Committee members, the lawmakers captured 58 of the total 210 seats. Only two of the 60 candidates fielded by the KMT caucus in the Legislative Yuan failed to win seats.

Chiang Pin-kung, former chairman of the Council for Economic Planning and Development, tops the list of all 31 members by winning the highest number of votes. Legislator Chen Chien-chih, a former speaker of Taipei City Council, came in second. Others who placed among the first 10 spots include 3) Kao Ching-yuan, president of the Uni-President Group and former chairman of the Chinese National Federation of Industries; 4) Ma Ying-jeou, Taipei mayor; 5) Wang You-theng, leader of the Rebar Group and honorary chairman of the ROC General Chamber of Commerce; 6) Legislator Hung Yu-chin; 7) Legislator Huang Chao-shun; 8) Legislator Ting Shou-chung; 9) Legislator Yao Eng-chi, who is concurrently vice president of the Legislative Yuan; and 10) Chiu Cheng-hsiung, former finance minister. Other lawmakers elected into the CSC include Tina Wei-Kang Pan, Lu Hsiu-yen, Cheng Feng-shih, Hsu Chung-hsiung, Tseng Yung-chuan, Johnson C.T. Chen, Chu Fong-chi, Hung Hsiu-chu, Hsu Shu-po, Tsai Ling-lan, and Chang Jen-hsiang. In addition to P.K. Chiang and Chiu Cheng-hsiung, other former Cabinet officials on the CSC include Liu Chao-shiuan, who formerly served as vice premier and transportation and communications minister; and John Chang, who formerly served as foreign minister, secretary-general of the KMT, and presidential secretary general. Other former senior government officials include Yao Kao-chiao, commissioner of the National Police Administration; Lee Jih-chu, chairwoman of the National Youth Commission; and Chao Li-yun, chairwoman of National Sports Council Wu Pi-chu, incumbent speaker of Taipei City Council, is among the 10 female party leaders on the committee.

Other business and industry leaders joining the CSC include Jeffrey Koo, chairman of Chinatrust Commercial Bank and the Chinese National Association of Industry & Finance.