Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中) is poised to represent the KMT in the Taipei mayoral race after defeating three other hopefuls by a wide margin, according to the party’s primary poll results released yesterday.
Following four failed attempts to win the KMT’s Taipei mayoral candidacy, Ting garnered the highest support rating with 47.6 percent in the averaged results of three telephone-based opinion polls, which were conducted by the party between Sunday and Tuesday to determine its candidate for Taipei mayor in the Nov. 24 elections.
Ting was followed by former KMT legislator Sun Ta-chien (孫大千) with 18.2 percent, former Mainland Affairs Council deputy minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) with 17.2 percent and Taipei City Councilor Chung Hsiao-ping (鍾小平) with 16.9 percent.
Photo: Fang Ping-chao, Taipei Times
“The real challenge begins now,” said Ting, who served seven legislative terms since 1990, after the results were announced at KMT headquarters in Taipei.
Ting said his next step would be to unify the pan-blue camp to consolidate its support base, while putting forward well-devised policies to appeal to swing voters and those who are leaning toward the pan-green camp.
Despite Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) popularity in the media and online, Ting said some Taipei residents he has spoken to disapprove of Ko’s leadership style, which he said is all about “talking nonsense and proposing pie-in-the-sky policies.”
“Nevertheless, the mayoral race is going to be a tough and uneven fight, because Ko has the Taipei City Government’s resources, which puts him at an advantage,” Ting said, adding that his three opponents have agreed to join his campaign team.
Ting dismissed concerns that he could suffer the same fate as former KMT chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), as there have been calls for the KMT to instead nominate Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔), whose appointment as National Taiwan University president was rejected by the Ministry of Education on Friday last week due to controversies surrounding him and his election.
“I will show the public the high level of support I have at the grassroots level in Taipei,” Ting said.
Despite winning the KMT’s presidential primary in July 2015, Hung was replaced by then-KMT chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) in October as the party’s presidential candidate for the 2016 election due to her contentious cross-strait policies and low approval rating.
Ting’s nomination is to be forwarded to the party’s Central Standing Committee for final approval on Wednesday next week, KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) said.
Poll results suggest the race between Ting and Ko would be close, as the gap between the two’s support ratings are within 3 percentage points, KMT Taipei Chapter director Huang Lu Ching-ju (黃呂錦茹) said.
Additional reporting by Hsiao Ting-fang
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no