Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday suggested that the party could “recruit” Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) to join the party’s presidential primary.
The party’s plan to recruit Han would be a “fair” mechanism without hurting the party or Han, Wu said in a radio interview, but added that it would not do so if Han clearly refuses to join.
Asked how the party would decide on its nominee among many candidates, he said that the KMT prefers to conduct public opinion polls, instead of just among its members.
KMT headquarters on Wednesday granted a membership certificate to Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海集團) chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) for lending the party NT$45 million (US$1.46 million at the current exchange rate) in 2016 without interest, Wu said, negating allegations that the move was aimed at helping Gou resolve his questionable membership so that he could take part in the primary.
After Gou received the certificate on Wednesday, he announced that he would participate in the party’s primary, saying that he would not accept being drafted to run.
He said that if he wins, he would stand as the KMT’s presidential candidate, and that if he loses, he would support whoever is selected.
Gou did not inform the party before announcing his decision to join the primary, Wu said yesterday, denying rumors that he and former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) plotted for Gou’s participation to hinder Han.
Wu reaffirmed his objectivity, saying that he has decided not to contest the primary and that he would meet with Han, Gou and the other hopefuls — former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), KMT Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and former Taipei County commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) — to discuss the primary’s rules.
Referring to Wu’s remarks on recruiting Han, Chu said that the party’s primary plan “has changed from a romance film to an action movie to a science-fiction movie.”
He urged KMT headquarters to “provide a clear mechanism for the primary” to avoid losing supporters.
Wang also demanded a clearly defined primary mechanism, saying that it would allow candidates to feel secure in launching election campaigns.
Despite playing a role in helping Han win the mayoral election in November last year, Wang said that he would respect Han’s decision if he decides to enter the primary.
Gou yesterday said on Facebook that he anticipates a fair, just and open competition for the party’s nomination, adding that he would prove himself the best candidate during the primary.
Meanwhile, Han said that as mayor, his priority is to care about Kaohsiung’s residents and boost its economic development.
Additional reporting by Lin Hsin-han, Huang Chia-lin, Wang Jung-hsiang and Cho Yi-chun
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