Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday said she would not be dissuaded from participating in the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) primary for its presidential candidate, with the chances of KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) signing up for the primary said to be dimming.
Despite Hung and former minister of health Yaung Chih-liang (楊志良) signing up for the primary and vowing to abide by the rules promulgated by the party, media reports have suggested that the KMT remains more concerned about those who have not signed up for the primary, including Chu, Wang and Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義).
Hung gave two radio interviews, highlighting that she is sure that the word “conscription” does not appear in the primary rules stipulated by the party.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
If Hung remains the only participant to sign up for the primary and obtains the required 15,000 signatures, she would still have to — according to the primary rules — pass a threshold of 30 percent support to win the party’s nomination, which has been dubbed “the KMT’s mechanism to stall the brick and wait for the jade (防磚待玉),” with Hung being the “brick” and Chu the “jade.”
The rules state that if a candidate fails to pass the poll threshold, the party’s central committee can advise the party against nominating that single runner.
With Yaung standing a good chance of acquiring 15,000 signatures, he said: “Even if neither of us pass the 30 percent support threshold, there is still a second round of polls — after intraparty negotiations between the candidates — and the person who garners a higher support percentage in the second poll would emerge as the winner. There is no reference to ‘conscription’ in the rules.”
Radio host Clara Chou (周玉蔻) said that even if there is no question of drafting, “there still exists the possibility of registered contenders being talked out of the race [so the party can enlist whoever it favors].”
The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has two main tenets: Taiwanese independence and opposition to nuclear power. What are our party lines? On the platform provided by the primary, aspirants can engage in policy debate, and clarify and make public the party’s central beliefs,” she said.
Hung called on those who wish to run for president to go through the primary process, while describing the alleged party’s plan to resort to “drafting” as “forcing a bride into a [wedding] palanquin.”
As Saturday is the last day for KMT hopefuls to sign up for the primary, it was said that yesterday was the most appropriate day for Wang to begin his application process, as he would still need to collect signatures from at least 15,000 party members.
As of press time yesterday, there had been no sign of Wang visiting KMT headquarters to pick up an application form.
“It is said that KMT lawmakers whose constituencies are in Taipei, New Taipei City and Keelung are against Wang’s nomination, as the KMT hardliners in the north dislike Wang and the lawmakers’ own prospects of being re-elected would be negatively affected,” Chou said, asking Hung whether she could confirm the rumor.
“I could not say that it is 100 percent true, but I do feel it,” Hung said, adding that, for instance, the picture of Wang and former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) showing up together at a recent event riled some “deep blue” electorates.
Next Magazine yesterday reported that Wang has deferred his plan to join the race due to objections from President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who is said to have misgivings about Wang because of the much-hyped political feud between the two that ended with Wang retaining his party membership.
A source from the KMT was quoted by the magazine as saying that KMT voters would not support Wang because of his alleged undue influence for [DPP caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘)]” and that his high poll numbers have been exaggerated by DPP supporters who would not vote for him.
EIGHT-YEAR WINDOW: Avril Haines said that Beijing is closely watching the Russian invasion of Ukraine, although Moscow’s actions have not sped up Beijing’s timeline The threat posed by China to Taiwan until 2030 is “critical,” US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said on Tuesday while testifying on worldwide threats at a hearing of the US Senate Committee on Armed Services. “I think it’s fair to say that it’s critical, or acute,” Haines said when asked by US Senator Josh Hawley if she viewed the threat facing Taiwan to be acute from now until 2030. “It’s our view that they [China] are working hard to effectively put themselves into a position in which their military is capable of taking Taiwan over our intervention,” she said, without
NO CONSENSUS YET: Local governments and the CECC have agreed to change the ‘3+4’ self-isolation policy, but are still mulling what to replace it with The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) and local governments have agreed to ease restrictions on close contacts of COVID-19 cases, although the details are still being discussed, the center said yesterday. The discussions follow Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Saturday approving a proposal to shorten the “3+4” policy — three days of home isolation followed by four days of self-disease prevention — for close contacts who have received booster doses. “We did not reach a consensus on how to revise the current restrictions, but we all agreed that the administrative burden must be reduced and the intensity of restrictions must be eased,
OPPOSING CHINESE ‘HOSTILITY’: The bill orders the state secretary to create a plan to regain observer status for Taiwan, saying Taipei is a model contributor to world health US President Joe Biden on Friday signed a bill into law to help Taiwan regain observer status at the World Health Assembly (WHA), demonstrating Washington’s support for Taiwan’s international participation. Friday was the deadline for Biden to sign the bill (S.812), which directs “the Secretary of State to develop a strategy to regain observer status for Taiwan in the World Health Organization (WHO), and for other purposes.” The 75th WHA, the decisionmaking body of the WHO, is scheduled to meet in Geneva, Switzerland, from Sunday next week to May 28. The bill, introduced by US Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the US Senate
‘DAMOCLES SWORD’: An Italian missionary said the arrest of cardinal Zen is a blow for the church in Hong Kong, China and the world, signaling great danger ahead China yesterday defended the arrest of a 90-year-old Catholic cardinal under Hong Kong’s National Security Law, a move that triggered international outrage and deepened concerns over Beijing’s crackdown on freedoms in the territory. Retired cardinal Joseph Zen (陳日君), one of the most senior Catholic clerics in Asia, was among a group of veteran democracy advocates arrested on Wednesday for “colluding with foreign forces.” Pop singer Denise Ho (何韻詩), veteran barrister Margaret Ng (吳靄儀) and cultural studies academic Hui Po-keung (許寶強) were also arrested, the latter as he attempted to fly to Europe to take up an academic post. Cyd Ho (何秀蘭), a democracy