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Jun 6, 2007

The Taiwan Farmers' Party and Wang Jin-pyng (王金平)

The Taiwan Farmers' Party (台灣農民黨) will be officially formed in Kaohsiung. It is being put together by the Farmer's and Fisherman's association (農漁會), a grass-roots organization who's leaders are largely native-Taiwanese and KMT sympathetic. The person in charge of forming the party is Hsiao Han-chun (蕭漢俊), director of the Kaohsiung County Farmers' Association. He is considered part of the "White faction" (白派), which is also what Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) is (as opposed to the Red or Black factions).

The announcement instantly sparked KMT outrage and fear of a split in the party.

Wang insists he knows nothing about it and had no hand in it, but says it won't hurt the KMT in particular but would affect all parties; Ma asked Wang to clarify and that he simply can't believe that Wang knew nothing about this; The KMT Central Standing Committee threatened to revoke party membership of anyone who joins the Farmers' Party (something party regulations provide for), though the Party Secretary said the situation wasn't that serious; and other high-ranking CSC people also said they don't believe Wang wasn't involved. KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung also said the KMT would continue to communicate with the Associations to prevent the party from being formed.

The Farmers' Party people say they aren't going to put up a presidential candidate in 2008 and only want to compete for at large seats in the legislative election (now set for January 12th of 2008).

If you are wondering about the significance about Taiwan in the party's name, I would suggest it might not mean very much. Taiwan already has a "Farmers' Party" (農民黨), so the decision could be based on the fact that two parties can't register the same name.

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