Today’s KMT Central Standing Committee meeting was apparently pretty testy. At least three people openly challenged President Ma. I’ve been waiting for the a reaction inside the party, and it looks like it is starting to emerge.
The three people who have been identified in the media are Lee Chuan-chiao 李全教, Huang Chao-shun 黃昭順, and Lee Teh-wei 李德維. The first two have been labeled as Wang’s allies, while Lee Teh-wei is identified as belonging to the Lien faction (and Sean Lien’s good friend). Huang’s challenge was the least direct. She called for Prosecutor-General Huang Shih-ming 黃世銘 to accept political responsibility and resign. Lee Chuan-chiao and Lee Teh-wei were more direct. The former said Ma is no longer suitable to be the KMT chairman, and the latter called on Premier Jiang to resign. Lee Chuan-chiao also criticized the head of the KMT’s disciplinary committee.
At least two members, Hsieh Lung-chie 謝龍介 and Lee Chia-feng 李嘉峰, spoke in support of Ma.
Elsewhere, New Taipei City Eric Chu 朱立倫 has also expressed hope that Ma will back off the political infighting and focus on economics.
(Keep in mind that these events just happened a few hours ago, so the facts may change.)
While talking to the TV cameras after the meeting, one of the Lees said that the KMT is everyone’s party, it is not Ma’s personal property. In fact, one of the ways to interpret the last month is as a failed delegation of power. The KMT delegated a tremendous amount of authority to President Ma to act on its behalf. However, rather than acting in the best interests of the entire party, Ma used the power to advance his narrow interests. Now the party is trying to sanction the unfaithful agent.
Some of Ma’s power comes from his position as president; some of it comes from the KMT. The latter source of power may be slipping away.