KMT rift over Ma, Wang re-appears
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-04-07 11:15 AM
Three weeks into the occupation of the Legislative Yuan, the Ma-Wang struggle of last September has reared its head once more. Wang Jin-pyng’s brief stop to visit students at the Legislative Yuan Sunday triggered cries of betrayal as well as calls of support that show a deep rift within the KMT between those who support Ma Ying-jeou’s hard-line handling of the student movement and those who might favor Wang Jin-pyng’s more conciliatory response..

About 20 legislators were on hand Sunday during Wang’s visit, most of whom have shown support for the Legislative Speaker. KMT party whip Lin Hung-chih and Chief Deputy Secretary-General Fei Tai-chun later pointed out that recently the party caucus has mobilized legislators from the Taipei City and New Taipei City areas while overlooking lawmakers from central and southern Taiwan, legislators, possibly indicating that something else may be happening behind the scenes in the party.

One Blue legislator revealed that on Sunday morning Legislative Yuan Secretary-General Lin Hsi-shan communicated with lawmakers closer to Wang such as Hu Chia-chen, Hsu Yao-chang, Weng Chung-chun, Wang Hui-mei, Chen Ken-teh and Chang Chia-chun, telling them only that Wang would visit the student protesters at about 11am. Lin said only that Wang would be accompanied by a number of Blue lawmakers.

Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu said she received a call from Wang shortly after 8:00am Sunday. Wang said he was going to see the students and asked her if she wanted to go with him. She thought that only the two of them would be going and was not aware that Wang planned to make a statement.

Other KMT legislators were unhappy with being “used like props” by Wang. Chiang Hui-chen said Wang has always shown a very delicate touch in dealing with such things and admitted that she did not understand his motives. She complained that she was being used by Wang as a backdrop for his actions.

Chiang pointed out that some of the 20 or so legislators on the scene Sunday are fairly close to Wang Jin-pyng, but a number felt they were being used by the Legislative Speaker.

KMT Legislator Lin Teh-fu said when he heard Wang was going to visit the students he also wanted to be there to try to set up some two-way interaction with the protesters, so he went along. As for Wang Jin-pyng's statements, Lin said only that he would defer to announcements released by the KMT caucus.

Chen Ken-teh said Wang was attempting to patch up some of the disagreements between the government and the students and some in the opposition camp. He added, however, that if the KMT caucus does not condone Wang’s approach, Wang should come up with a better way to bridge the gaps.

On the other hand, Wang Hui-mei said the most pressing need right now is to break the deadlock between the students and the government, and that is what Wang was trying to do. She said Wang may not necessarily agree with the students’ viewpoint, but he wanted to respond in good faith and give the students an ‘out’ if they are looking to step down and end their occupation of the Legislative Yuan. In that regard, said Wu, Wang’s move was "very wise."

Lu Chia-chen added said that the KMT caucus is being too harsh in the matter. The students have occupied the Assembly Hall for 20 days, he noted, and Wang’s proposition may be "the only alternative." He said he is not satisfied with the idea but can live with it.

Legislator Alex Tsai reasoned that now that Wang Jin-pyng has tentatively agreed to consider the "set up regulations, then review the agreement" demand of the students, if the protesters continue to occupy the Assembly Hall, they will be cast as “little usurpers of the Legislative Yuan."

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