Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) on Wednesday said that he would not be meeting Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) before April 17, derailing the leadership’s plan to avoid a contentious presidential primary.
To be able to draft Han as its uncontested candidate, the KMT needs to obtain his consent prior to April 17, when the party is scheduled to announce the rules and schedule of the presidential primary.
Han had publicly refused the party’s offer on multiple occasions.
Photo: Chang Chung-yi, Taipei Times
Although Wu earlier that morning told reporters that he was to have a face-to-face conference with Han today, multiple sources said that Han declined and offered to meet Wu after April 18, when he returns from a trip to the US.
KMT spokesman Ouyang Lung (歐陽龍) confirmed the reports on the sidelines of a meeting of the KMT Central Standing Committee on Wednesday afternoon, saying Han had conveyed his intentions to KMT Vice Chairman Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權).
Ouyang added that the party has not arranged for a meeting between Wu and Han when Wu visits Kaohsiung tomorrow.
Asked about Han’s response, Wu said that he was still trying to persuade the Kaohsiung mayor.
“The party intends to nominate the most popular and capable candidates for the presidential and legislative elections next year,” Wu said.
Wu is to confer with the party’s presidential hopefuls to hammer out an agreement about Han’s nomination.
He is to meet former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) on Sunday, KMT Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) on Monday and former Taipei County commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) on Tuesday.
Asked about the meeting with Wu, Chu’s office yesterday issued a statement saying that Chu hoped the meeting would be held in public.
Chu fully supports the KMT leadership in its efforts, whether it is to draft Han or to hold a primary election and, as such, he has nothing to discuss with Wu, the office said.
Additional reporting by Ke Yun-hao and Chen Yun
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