For months now, Eric Chu, Chairman of the KMT, has been denying he would run for president. On Saturday he reversed that decision.
How long ago was this date and move against Hung planned? Who knows? But Chu has to take a leave of absence, and although sources differ (Taipei Times), he can take about 90 days, which will get him to election day, more or less.
More importantly than running for President, the first thing Chu did was to move to give Wang Jin-pyng another term as a party list legislator... (TT), even though he repeatedly said the party would not be doing that...
One of Broadcasting Corp of China (BCC) radio show host Lan Shuan’s (蘭萱) questions was about about a possible re-election bid by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who is now in his third term as a KMT legislator-at-large.The KMT news organ reported that the Central Standing Committee is already putting this in motion, according to the KMT news organ.
“Current KMT regulations stipulate that legislators-at-large can only serve two terms, although those who have made special contributions to the party, meet the needs of the party and have served as legislative speaker, are eligible for re-election,” Chu said.
Legislator Liao Kuo-tung (廖國棟), who is also a member of the KMT Central Standing Committee (CSC), stated yesterday that he had obtained the endorsements of 10 other CSC members to table a motion to amend the KMT’s nomination regulations on the party list for at-large legislators. He said that the amendment would lift the current two-term limit on a Legislative Speaker’s legislator-at-large seat, allowing Wang to be nominated for an unlimited number of terms.It is difficult to see this as anything but a defeat of Ma Ying-jeou, who tried to destroy Wang Jin-pyng two years ago and lost in court.
Chu himself is not enough to save the legislature, only Wang Jin-pyng, the unofficial leader of the Taiwanese legislators in the KMT, can do that. Bringing Wang back on board was a sharp move. The KMT is now well positioned to recoup some of the seats it would probably have lost, but it is hard to say how many, perhaps only a few in the north. None of these moves, it seems to me, will have much effect south of Taoyuan.
Chu also made another important move: he announced a plan to visit the US in Nov.
Still, it's the old KMT. Chu posted on Facebook a post that allegedly was written at midnight, but appeared at 8, so I'm told, and was pilloried by netizens as the Straits Times observed.
Frozen Garlic was eloquent in his post on the weekend's events:
The other big contrast that I want to focus on is the assumed relationship between the party and the state. Near the beginning of his remarks, Chu stated that the KMT’s future is tightly bound up with the future of Taiwan and of the ROC. In other words, an election disaster leading to the demise of the KMT could be expected to spell ruin for Taiwan and the ROC. Chu was not alone in tying the party and state together. Several previous speakers made similar remarks. The KMT is, in essence, the ROC. It is disheartening for me to hear this sort of rhetoric after more than two decades of democracy. The KMT elite seems to still believe the Leninist assumption that it is a vanguard party leading the state. They seem not to understand that in democracies, parties are a level below the state. The democratic system can remain quite healthy even as new parties emerge and old ones fade away (or crash and burn dramatically). No party is irreplaceable.Yup.
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- The Daily Mash nailed the transcendent stupidity of the UK's China kow-tow with a single headline: China to build British nuclear plants that can be detonated remotely from Beijing. Over in Sri Lanka the first fallout from the China investment craze is hitting: a financial crisis amid allegations of corruption. Who could have predicted that? One wonders what form the China abuses in the UK will take -- slipshod construction and labor abuses for starters. The Diplomat discusses some of the problems. Totally predictably, the British police arrested people for waving the Tibetan flag. As I always say, coming closer to China means moving farther from democracy...
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