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《TAIPEI TIMES》 KMT’s Han Kuo-yu elected legislative speaker


Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator-at-large Han Kuo-yu, center left, and KMT Legislator Johnny Chiang, center right, celebrate after winning the speaker and vice speaker elections yesterday at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator-at-large Han Kuo-yu, center left, and KMT Legislator Johnny Chiang, center right, celebrate after winning the speaker and vice speaker elections yesterday at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei. Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

2024/02/02 03:00

SECRET VOTING? All three parties had legislators standing next to ballot boxes making sure that their fellow party members followed instructions while voting

By Shelley Shan / Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) and Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) were elected and sworn in as the new speaker and deputy speaker respectively of the legislature yesterday after two rounds of voting for each.

Former legislative speaker and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator You Si-kun (游錫?) resigned from his legislator-at-large role, citing personal reasons, after failing to be re-elected.

The eight lawmakers of the Taiwan’s People’s Party (TPP) voted for neither the KMT’s nor the DPP’s contenders.

Before the elections, lawmakers from the three parties were told by their parties to vote along party lines or face severe disciplinary actions. The two independent legislators voted for the KMT’s candidates.

In the first round of voting for speaker, former Kaohsiung mayor Han secured 54 of 113 votes, while You received 51 votes. TPP Legislator-at-large Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) garnered votes from all of her party’s eight members in the legislature, but the ballot cast by TPP Legislator Janice Chen (陳昭姿) was later declared invalid as an ink smear made it look as though she had voted for both Huang and another legislator.

Huang later said that Chen would not be subject to party discipline after her vote was made invalid due to a minor error.

As none of candidates garnered a majority, a second round of voting with the top two contenders was held.

The TPP skipped the second vote as it had pledged to do, resulting in a 54 to 51 victory for Han.

The TPP initially did not nominate anyone to run in the deputy speaker election, but later decided to vote for TPP Legislator Chang Chi-kai (張啟楷) in the first round.

None of the TPP legislators voted in the second round in which Chiang and DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang (蔡其昌) competed. Chiang was elected deputy speaker 54 to 51.

Although the elections were supposed to be conducted using secret ballots, many KMT lawmakers stood shoulder to shoulder and held up their ballots to show bystanders.

All three parties dispatched representatives to stand next to ballot boxes, making sure that fellow party members voted the way they were told.

Han visited the TPP caucus before the second round of voting for speaker, only to find out that none of its legislators were there.

“We [the KMT] have asked TPP staff members to express our gratitude. Hopefully, the two parties can continue to work together and make the Legislative Yuan a better place,” Han told reporters outside the TPP office.

Han said in his inauguration speech that he hopes the legislature can become a place where all parties can reasonably discuss policies, rather than settling issues by resorting to violence and extreme reactions.

“I want to remind the 113 legislators that all eyes around the world are watching Taiwan’s democracy. It is precious that we have come this far,” he said. “I will do my best to maintain the principle of neutrality and honor the rights of the minor opposition party.”

You posted a message on Facebook saying that he would resign from his position as a DPP legislator-at-large due to personal reasons, effective today.

The vacancy is expected to be filled by Hope Foundation for Cancer Care chairman Wang Cheng-hsu (王正旭).

Prior to the voting, DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said that it is simply “out of the question” that the DPP lawmakers would vote for Huang so that Han would not get elected.

“This is a matter of principle. On the political spectrum, Huang is essentially a female version of Han. If the TPP forms an alliance with the KMT by voting for Han, TPP Chairman Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) would have some explaining to do with younger members of the party, who neither support the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ nor agree with the statement that Taiwan and China are one family,” he said.

“It is also impossible for us to settle for the position of deputy speaker. It would be an embarrassment to You,” he said. “We would lose the election no matter what based on the number of seats we hold, but we should not lose our dignity as a political party.”

新聞來源:TAIPEI TIMES

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