Taipei, July 11 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou announced Wednesday that he intends to run for re-election next year as chairman of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), saying unity and reform are the only way forward for the party.
Ma, the current KMT chairman, made the announcement during a meeting of the party's Central Standing Committee, a committee member told the media.
The KMT official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some participants at the meeting urged Ma to formally declare whether he was going to run for re-election as chairman, amid a corruption scandal involving former Cabinet Secretary-General Lin Yi-shih.
Ma said he had already stated his intention to seek re-election, but since some people were still in the dark about the plan, he would like to make it clear at the meeting, according to the KMT official.
It will be Ma's third bid for the KMT chairmanship. On July 16, 2005, he won with 72.4 percent of the votes in a race against Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng.
Ma gave up the position in February 2007 after he was indicted on embezzlement charges over his alleged mishandling of special municipal funds earmarked for his discretionary use during his tenure as Taipei mayor (1998-2006). He was later acquitted of the charges.
On July 26, 2009, Ma ran unopposed and was again elected KMT chairman, this time with 92.51 percent of the votes.
(By Lee Shu-hua and Jamie Wang)