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KMT to elect new chairman Jan. 17
【Politics】2014-12-10  22:38:30
Taipei, Dec. 10 (CNA) The ruling Kuomintang's (KMT) Central Standing Committee on Wednesday decided that a vote will be held Jan. 17 for a chairman to replace President Ma Ying-jeou, who resigned as head of the KMT following its crushing defeat in the last month's local elections.

The committee invited interested members to collect their application forms Dec. 12-13 and register on Dec. 21 as candidates in the chairmanship election.

New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu, although has not tossed his hat into the ring, has the backing of 30 KMT lawmakers to run for the party chairmanship.

KMT Legislator Liao Cheng-ching, who initiated the campaign for Chu, said on Thursday that he will hand Chu a petition signed by other KMT lawmakers and will ask him to lead the party at this difficult time despite the criticisms that may be thrown at him.

So far, two people have come forward, although neither of them can be considered a party heavyweight.

Lee Hsin, 61, has served as a city councilor in Taipei since 1998 and was reelected last month in the city's sixth district.

He said Wednesday that he will do his best to rebuild the party in the wake of its defeat in the recent local government elections. If elected chairman, he said, he would not seek to run for president, vice president or a legislative seat in 2016.

Lee also said he would resign the chairmanship if the KMT fails to do well in those elections.

The other contender for the KMT chairmanship is Tainan City councilor-elect Lee Chuan-chiao.

Lee Chuan-chiao, now 54 and a member of the KMT's Central Standing Committee, said that if popular and well known party members do not enter the race, "I will."

Ma resigned as KMT chairman Dec. 3 to take responsibility for the party's humiliating defeat in the Nov. 29 nationwide local elections.

The ruling party managed to secure only six of the 22 city and county seats that were contested.

(By Liu Li-jung, Tseng Ying-yu, Huang Li-yun and Lee Hsin-Yin)
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