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Talk of the day -- KMT launches power transition

2014/04/30 22:24:34

Since his reelection in 2008, President Ma Ying-jeou, who doubles as Kuomintang (KMT) chairman, has seen his approval rating plummet to a historical low, forcing him to share power with other major players in the ruling party and start the task of power transition to a younger generation. A period of power-sharing has kicked off in the KMT in preparation for a post-Ma era.

The following are excerpts of major newspapers' coverage of the issue:

United Daily News:

Responding to widespread calls for power transition and reform in the KMT, President Ma Ying-jeou in his capacity as KMT chairman has named incumbent Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, New Taipei Mayor Eric Lilun Chu and Taichung Mayor Jason Hu as the ruling party's vice chairmen.

Sources said Ma's decision to bring the trio into the KMT's policymaking core can be traced back to April 15 when he proposed a revamp of the party. The proposal came in the wake of a three-week long student-led protest against a service trade agreement signed between Taiwan and China in June 2013, which exposed the KMT's inability to negotiate and handle a crisis.

On Sunday, Ma met with the heads of KMT-ruled counties and cities to discuss issues related to the controversial fourth nuclear power plant and after the meeting, he reportedly told each of the three men that he would consult them about major policies.

This approach will take some of the pressure off Ma amid calls for party reform and ensure that he maintains close links with the KMT's rising stars.

Ma's show of solidarity with the three city mayors will also help boost the KMT's chances in the local government elections in November.

Although Ma has been unwilling to talk about the power transition within his party, he has to face that reality now.

China Times:

The inclusion of Hau, Chu and Hu in the KMT's policymaking center is not only Ma's response to mounting calls for party reform after the student-led "Sun Flower Movement," but also represents the start of a new power-sharing era set in motion by Ma.

Now that the three city mayors have become part of the KMT's power core, Chu, in particular, will play a greater role in the power transition within the party, the November elections and the 2016 presidential poll, mainly becuase of his high approval rating and his advanatage as mayor of New Taipei, a special municipality that has the largest number of eligible voters in the country. (April30, 2014)

(By Flor Wang)
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2014/04/30 21:53:46