Fri, Mar 22, 2019 - Page 1 News List

KMT candidates blast primary ‘indecision’

By Chen Yun, Lin Liang-sheng and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Wang Jin-pyng, left, and Ko Cheng-fang walk through a corridor yesterday as Ko visits Wang in Taipei.

Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times

Two Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential hopefuls yesterday called on the party to make a decision about how to handle its primary to choose a candidate for next year’s election.

KMT Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who served as legislative speaker for 17 years, said that the party’s mercurial approach to nomination regulations made it difficult to comment or react, while former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) said that regardless of the options, the party must decide soon.

As long as a candidate is chosen fairly, everyone would support the decision, Wang added.

They were responding to a series of comments by KMT officials, such as KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) insinuation on Saturday last week that the party would consider drafting Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) as a potential candidate.

KMT Organizational Development Committee director Lee Che-hua (李哲華) on Wednesday proposed that the party sit down with Chu and Wang for “pre-primary negotiations” about listing Han among them in public opinion polls and party member surveys, as Han is unlikely to register for the primary himself.

Chu said that he would not rule out support for drafting Han if it is the best option for the party.

However, Lee’s proposal would cause others who have dropped the idea of running to reconsider, Chu said, naming Taipei City Councilor Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強), former Taipei County commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫偉) and Sun Yat-sen School president Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) as examples.

Lee yesterday said that his proposal would prevent the possibility of the KMT National Congress selecting another candidate over the person who won the party primary.

“We would have liked for Chu and Wang to consider including Han as a possible candidate, as it would mean that regardless of who prevails, the party has selected its best candidate,” Lee said.

However, if Wang and Chu will not settle matters via negotiations, then the primary would continue as planned, Lee added.

Additional reporting by Shih Hsiao-kuang

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