Thu, Jun 25, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Hung’s nomination can not be withheld: KMT

DEGREE OF UNCERTAINTY:The KMT was responding to a ‘Next Magazine’ story that alleges that the party is reconsidering Hung amid questions over her degree

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu yesterday attends a book launch in Taipei yesterday. Hung refused to comment on a lawsuit against political commentator Wen Shen, whom Hung has accused of defaming her father.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokesperson Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) yesterday said that it is “absolutely impossible” for any change to be made to the party’s decision to nominate Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) as its presidential candidate, after Next Magazine reported that Hung’s nomination might be at risk as her master’s degree has been called into question.

The latest edition of the magazine, published yesterday, said that because Hung is facing questions over the authenticity of her degree, combined with her and her team’s discord with the party leadership, her nomination might be questioned before the party congress on July 19, where the nomination is to be finalized.

The magazine quoted a party source as saying that the degree issue would open the party to charges of deceiving the electorate, and called on the party to reconsider Hung’s nomination or the KMT’s integrity would be compromised.

World Economics Society president Bert Lim (林建山) was a Control Yuan member nominee in September last year, until it was found that the think tank leader’s doctorate was a fake.

The party member was quoted by the magazine as saying that Lim withdrew from the nomination immediately after, and because the moral standards required of presidential candidates are higher than for Control Yuan members, Hung should do the right thing lest the party’s legislative candidates also suffer as a result.

Another party official was quoted by the magazine as saying that since Hung has a tendency to antagonize people, it was to be expected that she would not have the party’s support in controversies such as this, but because the party’s Central Standing Committee has approved her candidacy and the party leadership has prepared a place for her, it is unlikely that Hung’s nomination would be witheld.

Yang yesterday denied the KMT was “trying to keep a distance from Hung” or intending to “alter the nomination” as the magazine reported, saying that because Hung has provided the relevant documents and a clear explanation, any malicious distortion of the facts should come to an end.

Hung reiterated that her diploma is real, emphasizing that people would see it more clearly “as time goes by.”

She said that allegations her nomination would be withheld were groundless.

Hung spokesperson Jack Yu (游梓翔) said her team has commissioned lawyers to take legal actions against commentator Clara Chou (周玉蔻) — who first brought up the degree issue on a political talk show — and Next Magazine’s president, editor-in-chief and the three reporters who wrote the report.

Hung’s campaign team held a press conference yesterday afternoon, inviting National Taiwan Sport University vice president Chang Szu-min (張思敏), Hung’s classmate at Northeast Missouri State University’s graduate program, to testify to the authenticity of her master’s degree.

Chang said there was no part-time graduate program in Taiwan 25 years ago, and they had spent two summers and one winter in the US for the degree.

“The classes were all taught by foreign teachers, and there were also teaching assistants who helped interpret if we could not understand,” he said.

Chang added that he had completed a doctorate program at another university in the US after obtaining the master’s degree, which means that the degree was accepted in the US.

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