Taipei, Feb. 3 (CNA) Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang on Wednesday said he plans to appoint media personality Jaw Shaw-kong to serve as a member of the party's Central Executive Committee, after the KMT earlier in the day approved Jaw's application to rejoin the party he left nearly three decades ago.
The KMT, however, has not yet decided if it will revise current party rules to allow Jaw to take part in the chairmanship election slated to be held later this year.
Speaking during a KMT weekly Central Standing Committee meeting, Chiang welcomed Jaw's decision, saying that the return to the party of the TV personality, who is highly popular among KMT supporters, is a good sign for the party's unity that is expected to attract more supporters to the pan-blue camp.
Chiang said he decided to hire Jaw as one of the party's new Central Executive Committee members to offer suggestions to the party leadership. The official committee member list will be announced later this month, he added.
Jaw, 70, said Monday that he recently submitted a form to apply to rejoin the party he left in 1993, adding that he plans to throw his hat into the ring for the chairmanship election.
However, if he finds himself unqualified to run, he is open to accepting other party positions, the media personality added.
KMT on Wednesday approved his membership application.
According to KMT regulations, a party chairman candidate has to have been a member of the party for a minimum of one year and must have previously held the post of KMT Central Standing Committee member or Central Executive Committee member.
These rules mean that Jaw is unqualified to enter the race.
Some have suggested that the KMT could revise the related rules if it wants to make Jaw eligible. Wednesday's Central Standing Committee meeting would be a good starting place for such discussion, they proposed.
However, party sources told CNA after the meeting that there was no talk about possible party rule revision to pave the way for Jaw's running for the chairmanship.
Party sources said that most KMT Central Standing Committee members believe the issue should not be discussed until the party announces the specific rules for the party chair election.
The chairman election is reportedly to be held in summer, while the election rules could be announced in April.
Jaw was a "golden boy" of the KMT in the 1980s, who served as a Taipei City councilor and legislator before he and several other KMT members shunned the party to form the New Party in 1993.
After losing the Taipei mayoral race to former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in 1994, Jaw announced his intention to retire from politics in 1996.
Jaw has since been hosting radio and TV programs and is widely regarded as an opinion leader among KMT supporters.