Election Defeat Widens Division in Kuomintang

By LIU Weijun, CND, 12 December 2001

[CND, 12/04/01] The humiliating defect in the recent Taiwanese parliamentary elections has forced the Nationalist Party, the KMT, to re-exam its strategies and heated up debates among rival factions within the party, Reuters reported on Tuesday.

The once-mighty KMT has gradually lost its power in Taiwan in recent years. First, it lost the presidency in the 2000 election; and now it lost its majority in the legislature to its political rival Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after the elections over the weekend.

MA Ying-jeou, the Mayor of Taipei, and his powerful faction inside KMT continue to support the party chief LIEN Chan. Ma urged the party to form a parliamentary alliance with another major opposition party, the People First Party, which shares the KMT’s strong opposition to the island’s independence.

On the other hand, a rival faction led by a group of KMT lawmakers called for Lien’s resignation. The group also opposes the party’s joining hand with the People First Party, to which they blamed for taking votes from the Nationalist.