Certain Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators-at-large have seriously tested the party’s image and they could face disciplinary measures or have their nomination retroactively rescinded if their behavior proves to be harmful, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said yesterday at party headquarters in Taipei.
While Chiang did not say who his remarks were directed at, KMT Legislator Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷) has sparked controversy by saying that five recent Chinese flybys of Taiwan were “not provocative,” urging the Ministry of National Defense not to mislead the public.
Wu earlier this month requested classified Ministry of National Defense data and reportedly received a briefing by military officials in his office.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
The data he requested reportedly included material on cyberdefense units at the Information and Electronic Warfare Command, and troop deployments of all three branches of the armed forces, as well as updates on combined service units and military operations.
The words, actions and performance of the KMT’s officials and legislators represent the the party’s brand and values, and are “directly connected” to the party’s image, Chiang said.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the KMT should fulfill its responsibility as an opposition party by working with the government on disease-prevention efforts, supervise the government “rationally” and stand with the public, he said.
“However, the political performance of some legislators-at-large has put the party’s image to the test once again,” he added.
Their performance has not only been criticized by rival parties and questioned by the public, but it has also disappointed supporters of the KMT, Chiang said.
During the party’s nomination process for its at-large candidates last year, all of the nominees signed letters promising that if elected, their words and actions would not harm the party’s image, he said.
The same letter stated that if the nominees were found to have done so, they would submit to disciplinary action and have their nominations revoked in accordance with the party’s regulations, he added.
The letter shows that “regarding the words, actions and quality of its legislators-at-large, the party has the power and duty to restrain and counsel,” Chiang said.
The KMT is at a “critical moment” in its reform efforts, and it can no longer afford for the trust of the public to be eroded, he said.
Chiang said he would ask the party’s reform committee to establish a set of rules for assessing KMT legislators and the results would be used to determine whether a legislator should lose their party membership.
Additional reporting by Sherry Hsiao
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