Fights for road rights to begin over expected KMT Congress in Taichung
The China Post news staffTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Ruling and opposition camps are vying for the rights to use roads around a Taichung stadium where the Kuomintang is said to be holding its National Congress, with the outcome of the competition likely to determine whether the President Ma Ying-jeou-chaired gathering will be marred by protests.
October 6, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
The KMT congress was originally scheduled to take place in Taipei in late September but has been postponed to early November following an open rift between Ma and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng.
Taipei is supposed to remain the host of the congress despite the date change, but the KMT is now said to be considering moving it to Taichung.
It is said that the KMT has already submitted an application to borrow a stadium in Taichung, and the new plan for the congress will be unveiled at the KMT's Central Standing Committee meeting Wednesday.
The Taichung government has confirmed that the KMT has already booked a city-run stadium for use on Nov. 9.
Political rivals and activists, for different reasons, have vowed to stage protests outside the KMT congress venue, but they have to first secure the rights to use the roads where they plan to stage the protests.
The KMT is apparently eager to block any protests. Taichung police have confirmed that the ruling party has applied for the rights to use the roads in the stadium's neighborhood from Nov. 7 to 11, and from Nov. 14 to 18.
A city councilor, Yang Tien-chung, from the Democratic Progressive Party, has submitted an application to use the roads from Oct. 25 to Nov. 19, the police said.
DPP Legislator Tsai Chi-chang said he tried to secure the road rights for the area for all of November, but has only been awarded two days on Nov. 2 and 3 for holding concerts.
The city's police said they will hold a meeting to discuss how the road rights will be awarded on Oct. 14. They said one of the factors they will consider is the applicants' purposes.