Wed, Oct 14, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Chu apologizes over Hung turmoil

SAYING SORRY:The KMT chairman said a formal apology would be issued after the Central Standing Committee meeting, adding that a divided party would lead to failure

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) legislative candidate Hsiao Ya-tan, center, protests with other supporters outside New Taipei City Hall yesterday. The TSU has petitioned Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairperson Eric Chu to resign from his position as New Taipei City mayor if he runs for president.

Photo: Lai Hsiao-tung, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) yesterday apologized for making the “reluctant, but necessary decision” to oust Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) as the party’s presidential candidate at a special party congress scheduled for Saturday.

“As chairman of the KMT, I cannot shift the blame for the party’s ongoing turmoil and dismal election campaign prospects to others. It is due to a lack of effort and communication on my part,” Chu, who is also New Taipei City mayor, said on the sidelines of a New Taipei City council meeting in the morning.

Chu apologized to his KMT comrades, before expressing his “sincerest apology” to Hung for what has happened and the KMT’s decision.

A formal apology, along with a detailed explanation of the whole issue, is to be issued after today’s regular weekly meeting of the KMT’s Central Standing Committee and again after the party congress on Saturday afternoon, Chu said.

Chu’s comments came after Hung’s adamant refusal to quit the race, despite repeated calls from Chu and other party members for her to consider the “bigger picture.”

They also came after Hung on Monday night in a Facebook post questioned the rationale behind the KMT leadership’s criticism of her cross-strait policies — which she said advocate separate governance instead of division across the Taiwan Strait — for straying from the KMT’s stance and mainstream public opinion.

“I am accused of deviating from mainstream public opinion simply because I told the truth. Is this really the case?” Hung wrote.

Asked whether Saturday’s congress would create solidarity or further division, Chu said that while unity does not necessarily translate into victory, a divided party almost always leads to failure.

“Various opinions have been voiced from within the party, which is why we intend to reach a consensus through the upcoming congress that is aimed at ‘forging consensuses and securing victory through party solidarity,’” Chu said.

He shrugged off reporters’ questions about whether he is going to replace Hung as candidate, with KMT Vice Chairperson Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠), a former Chiayi mayor, as his running mate.

“This is a hypothetical question. I will respect any decisions reached by the KMT’s representatives on Saturday as long as they are conducive to achieving consensuses and party unity,” Chu said.

When asked for comment about Chu’s apology, Hung — speaking on the sidelines of an afternoon legislative session — said whether an apology is made is not as important as conforming to the party’s internal democratic system.

She previously criticized the KMT headquarters’ decision to put her nomination to a vote at a special congress as detrimental to the KMT’s primary system.

Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday said that who the KMT nominates as its presidential candidate is not people’s main concern, because Taiwanese care more about having a different political party take the helm next year.

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