Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday defended her management of party layoffs during a political platform presentation session, which saw all six candidates for the party’s top job lay out competing reform agendas.
“Over the past year, I have painstakingly dealt with all sorts of agony, but I have endured the hardships gladly because that was my choice, I chose what I love and I love what I chose,” she said, referring to the difficulty of leading the party after its bank accounts were frozen as part of an extended legal battle over allegedly ill-gotten party assets.
“We have done a lot given that we ‘do not even have rice to cook with,’ including downsizing our organization,” she said, while citing more rigorous policy stances and an increase in party members as her major accomplishments as chairwoman.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
“We have been laying a foundation, even if you might not see it,” she said.
She also appeared to rule out a second presidential run in 2020.
“Over the next four years, we will pull together all party members to turn us into a victory maker,” she said. “The victor could be anyone but will absolutely not be me.”
Hung was the KMT’s presidential candidate before being replaced by New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫).
Most polls show a tight three-way chairperson race between Hung, former Taipei mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and former vice president Wu Den-yih (吳敦義). Former Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Corp (台北農產公司) president Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), former KMT vice chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢) and former KMT legislator Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) have also thrown their hats into the race.
Both Hau and Wu appeared to take shots at Hung’s management of the party in their platform presentations, promising better integration with the KMT’s legislative caucus along with other proposals to shake up party organization and bring in young blood.
“If we look at the reports following our defeats in 2000 and last year, you can see that there is a tonne of similar content, which shows that we have talked a lot, but done little,” Hau said, calling for quick implementation of the direct election of local party heads and changes to how the party handles the illicit assets fight.
“We cannot just keep letting ourselves get beaten up over party assets,” he said, calling for an internal investigation to trace the history of how party assets have changed hands, particularly under the direction of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).
He promised to give young party members a boost when participating in the party’s nomination process and also vowed to devote 10 percent of official subsidies received by the party to developing young talent.
Wu said that there should be changes to “appropriately reward” young people competing for the party’s nomination, while calling for the establishment of new party offices for students, workers, farmers, women and other groups.
The central party leadership should also move to establish a “shadow government” in conjunction with the party’s think tank and legislative caucus, he said.
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