Taiwan's ruling KMT majority down to One

Taipei, 30 July 1997

The ruling Kuomintang's majority in Taiwan's Legislative Yuan fell to just one seat Wednesday, when a KMT lawmaker quit the party, stating that it was corrupted by vote buying and influence peddling.

Legislator Robert Hsu said his mind was made up when the Kuomintang picked an allegedly corrupt county executive to run for re-election.

The Kuomintang, which came over to the island from China in 1945, has gradually transformed itself from the originally very repressive Chinese Nationalist Party to a party focused on Taiwan itself. In the 1995 legislative elections, it won 85 out of 164 seats, but resignations and the recent death of one of its legislators have cut the number to 82.

That number would fall again if legislator Vincent Siew is appointed to replace Lien Chan as Prime Minister next month, as is widely expected.

Nationalist lawmakers are notorious for their absenteeism, and the reduced majority means the party will have to cooperate more closely with the opposition Democratic Progressive Party.

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