Ma-Wang spat to spike attendance in National Congress: Kuomintang
By Adam Tyrsett Kuo, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Kuomintang (KMT) said yesterday that it now expects 80 percent of those invited to attend its upcoming National Congress, 15 percentage points higher than the ruling party's previous prediction.
October 25, 2013, 12:27 am TWN
According to local reports, a KMT representative said that people are highly interested in seeing how President Ma Ying-jeou, who doubles as the ruling party's chairman, and Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) will “resolve their differences,” and that the interest over the issue guarantees a higher turnout.
The National Congress was originally scheduled to be held on Sept. 29 at National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, but was later changed to Nov. 10 at Taichung Harbor Sports Stadium (台中港區綜合體育館) over security concerns.
Approximately 2,200 people have been invited to the event. Prior to the schedule change, the KMT said that it expected roughly 1,600 to attend.
Ma and Wang surprised the nation on Double Tenth Day by shaking hands several times in public. Wang also spent half of his National Day speech lauding the president.
In the eyes of political commentators, the turn of events signifies an inevitable reconciliation between the two.
Less than a week later, the KMT announced a new date and location for its National Congress.
The ruling party now says that it expects at least 1,700 people to attend the event.
New Taipei Councilor Chen Ming-yi (陳明義), of the KMT, said that he will “definitely” attend the National Congress, adding that he wants to see the interaction between Ma and Wang, as well as how they will explain the “influence-peddling case.”
Chen said that he plans to use the upcoming occasion to urge the party to make clear that the case is not a political struggle.
The councilor also said that he would like his party to explain the finer points of the “wiretapping controversy.”
Chen said that he has spoken to many grassroots representatives, and that they all share similar ideas.
KMT Taoyuan Councilor Su Tsui-ling (舒翠玲), on the other hand, said that she had originally planned on going to the event, but now that Ma and Wang have “reconciled,” she has decided otherwise.
She explained that Ma's “original stance” was correct, but that the “Ma-Wang reconciliation” signifies a loss of right and wrong.