KMT has challenge ahead


The China Post

With the 2008 presidential election only 12 months away, the opposition Kuomintang is ominously divided. Chances for the KMT to regain power are anybody’s guess. Suddenly, Ma Ying-jeou’s star appears to be fading. He resigned from the chairmanship of the KMT after he was indicted for alleged corruption. He could still run for president if he won the party’s nomination. But that’s no longer a sure thing, as his political rivals both within and without the party have argued that he would lose eligibility for candidacy if he was convicted. Ma’s authority is facing challenge. That throws his political future into uncertainty. Even if many in Taiwan believe in his innocence, the island is not famous for judicial independence.

The problem with the KMT is that, unlike the ruling DDP which has four high-profile “heavenly kings” waiting in the wings to run, Ma Ying-jeou is the only potential candidate who can get votes. KMT vice chairman and Legislative Yuan President Wang Jin-pyng appears eager to run, but he is far less popular than Ma at the polls. It will be interesting to see how the KMT tries to overcome the daunting challenge ahead.