Sun, Oct 18, 2015 - Page 1 News List

Presidential Election: KMT’s replacing of Hung lambasted

‘ILLEGAL’:Supporters of the former presidential candidate said that, under party rules, the KMT could only replace Hung if she had committed a crime or given bribes

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Supporters of former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu yesterday gather outside National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei, while the KMT’s extempore party congress meets inside.

Photo: Chen Chih-chu, Taipei Times

Hundreds of supporters of former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday held a rally in front of National Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall in Taipei — the venue of the party’s extraordinary party congress — with some protesters threatening to storm the building.

Hung’s supporters, many of whom were wearing red and waving Republic of China (ROC) flags and banners, started to gather outside the hall well before the scheduled 2pm start time of the congress and shouted their support for Hung, calling the proceedings “illegitimate.”

Lin Cheng-chieh (林正杰), the head of Hung’s “out-of-the-party supporters’ club,” said before the vote that they were against the KMT’s use of an “illegal” procedure to replace Hung.

“Hung is the candidate chosen in accordance with the party’s due process. The KMT can replace Hung only if she has committed a crime or issued bribes,” he said.

“However, Hung has done neither,” he said, adding that the KMT’s move to replace Hung is tantamount to “fraud,” as many made donations to the party only because Hung was elected as its presidential candidate.

“We would encourage Hung to take legal action to secure her right to run in the presidential election,” Lin said.

“If a lawsuit is considered not quick enough to be effective, we would then call on the intelligentsia, swing voters and deep-blue voters not to vote, and allow the KMT to collapse,” he added.

At about 3pm, after Hung and the top echelons of the KMT had finished their speeches, calling for solidarity — with KMT Chairman Eric Chu’s (朱立倫) speech met by supporters watching a live video feed outside with shouts of “filthy” and calls for him to step down — Lin called on the scores of supporters sitting before the screen to follow his lead and “storm the hall.”

Other rally leaders immediately tried to calm the crowd by saying that Hung would soon come out to address them, and begged angry protesters to sit down, which they did.

“You all know my history [of using force against the establishment]. During the dangwai [outside the party] period, I burned down a police precinct to protest the KMT’s vote rigging,” Lin had earlier told the crowd.

A supporter panned the KMT for using the same criticisms of Hung as the Democratic Progressive Party by attacking her stance on the cross-strait relationship and her “one China, same interpretation” and “ultimate unification,” comments.

“There are people saying that the younger generation are ‘natural independence supporters.’ Why? Is it because the KMT is too weak?” he said.

“Look around you my friends, are we young?” he added.

Protesters said they would boycott the KMT in presidential and legislative elections in January, but Hung, who came outside to address the gathering after her replacement was approved by a show of hands at the congress, urged them to continue to stand by the party.

“The KMT needs different voices and that is why we should stay in the party, to reform it,” Hung said, amid sobs and calls from the crowd urging her to run for party chairperson.

A group of protesters gathered to shout denunciations of the KMT and Chu, who is also New Taipei City mayor.

The Social Democratic Party and Green Party New Taipei City legislative candidates condemned Chu’s decision to run for president.

“Are New Taipei City residents not also your responsibility? You apologized in the KMT Central Standing Committee meeting, but should you not be apologizing to us as well?” they said.

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