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KMT to hold chairperson by-election March 26

2016/01/20 20:23:25

KMT Acting Chairwoman Huang Min-hui (center) speaks during the Centrla Standing Committee meeting.

Taipei, Jan. 20 (CNA) The Kuomingtang (KMT) decided Wednesday the schedule for its by-election of the party leadership, which will take place March 26.

The schedule was passed during the party's regular Central Standing Committee meeting, which also decided to extend the campaign period and hold policy platform presentations prior to the vote, according to Lin Yi-hua (林奕華), head of the KMT's Culture and Communications Committee.

The committee also cut the fee a candidate needs to pay to run in the by-election by the previous NT$2 million (US$59,205.75) to NT$1.6 million.

Application forms to become a candidate will be available Jan. 26-27 for people planning to run in the by-election, who will have more time to collect signatures -- longer than the 10 days in past elections -- and a longer campaign period, Lin said.

Signatures of 3 percent of the KMT members are required for a KMT member to become eligible as a candidate, according to the party rules on chairperson elections.

The extended schedule, later than the earlier reported late February, will allow the candidates to travel around Taiwan and present their plans for the party, which suffered a crushing defeat in the Jan. 16 presidential and legislative elections, she said.

KMT Secretary-General Lee Shu-chuan (李四川) is expected to come up with a report Feb. 3 on the electoral defeat that cost the party the presidency and control of the Legislature, as well as suggestions for party reforms, Lin added.

New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) announced his resignation from the party chairman post Jan. 16, shortly after losing the presidential race.

Both Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) and Taipei City Councilor Chung Hsiao-ping (鍾小平) announced their intention to run in the by-election Wednesday.

The term of the new KMT chairperson will end in August 2017.

(By Claudia Liu and Kay Liu)