Ma reaffirms intention for new KMT chair term

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday reiterated his determination to run for another term as Kuomintang (KMT) chairman, on the back of support from the mayors of Taipei and New Taipei.

“I have not changed my decision to run for another term as KMT chairman,” said Ma.

He made this announcement in the face of reported opposition from some KMT members regarding a bribery scandal involving a close presidential aide.

New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) and Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) both endorsed Ma for another term as KMT chairman, along with Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and Wang Chien-shien (王建煊) of the Control Yuan.

“When the ruling party and the government are under the same leadership, they can work at their full strength,” said Hau.

“For a country to be run and developed stably,” Chu said, “it would be the best for the president to also be the KMT chairman.”

The endorsements come amid a bribery scandal that has sent shockwaves throughout the ruling party. Prosecutors are investigating Lai Su-ju (賴素如), until recently one of Ma’s top political consultants and director the president’s KMT office, for allegedly pocketing a bribe during the bidding process of the Taipei Twin Towers.

According to local reports, a KMT member said that it might put the KMT in crisis if Ma is not running for another term because of competition between the ruling party members who want to take over will be fierce.

The KMT member also said that many major reforms and policies have only recently been launched, such as Nuke 4, the free economic demonstration zones and pension reforms. If the ruling party and the government can’t be ruled under one leadership, it will be hard for Ma to executive any policies.