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October 24, 2009

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KMT vote-buying woes widen

TWENTY-ONE members of the Kuomintang Central Standing Committee have offered to resign to oppose vote-buying and "prove their innocence," according to the party's communication and culture committee.

Another 11 candidates have given up positions.

The move came two days after the party approved a decision to remove two from their newly elected positions as Central Standing Committee members for being involved in vote-buying.

Lee Chien-jung, director of the KMT Communication and Culture Committee, said the party planned to hold a conference for the temporary Central Standing Committee on Monday to discuss the possibility of a by-election.

Lee said on behalf of KMT Chairman Ma Ying-jeou that Ma supported these members' actions if they want to rebuild the reputation of the Central Standing Committee and prove their innocence.

According to Ma, if more members offer to resign and this results in inadequate members for a valid Central Standing Committee meeting, the party will have to hold a large scale by-election.

A total of 32 candidates were elected to the Central Standing Committee on October 11. During the election, some party members said vote-buying was rife.

Although two members were stripped of their positions, party members and the local media said more people were involved in vote-buying and urged the party to carry out investigations.

Ma vowed that he would push forward the reform of the KMT "at full speed."


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