The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday officially nominated Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) as its candidate for next year’s presidential election.
The nomination was passed at the KMT’s National Congress at the Banciao Stadium in New Taipei City, attended by more than 1,000 delegates.
In his acceptance speech, Han expressed gratitude to the party, supporters and Kaohsiung residents, and to the other primary candidates for showing good sportsmanship.
“People assume I am filled with joy [for the nomination], but in fact the responsibility weighs heavy on my heart,” he said.
The next presidential election will not be a civilized competition, or about the KMT returning to power, but a battle that would determine the life or death of the Republic of China (ROC) and its people, he said.
For Taiwanese, the election will be a choice between “defending or destroying the ROC, obeying or breaking the Constitution” and between opening up or isolation, cross-strait peace or war, he said.
The nation’s democracy and economy have deteriorated under President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), as the Democratic Progressive Party has grown increasingly corrupt, he said.
He urged Taiwanese expatriates to call and write to their local politicians and inform them of Tsai’s failings, especially those living in the US and Japan.
“Everyone is responsible for safeguarding the ROC, wherever you are,” he said.
Photo: Liu Hsiao-hsin, Taipei Times
“Taiwan needs to change” and “the Taiwanese will say no to dirty politics,” he added.
While many KMT members might not consider him an ideal candidate or a wise leader, “democracy is not about selecting one person so that he can solve everything,” he said.
Instead, it is about “electing a person who will allow members of the public to take charge” and work with them side-by-side, he said.
As someone who has experienced hardship both in his career and personal life, he truly understands the longing of the people, he said.
“We shall strive to create another Taiwan Miracle, where Taiwan is safe and the people are rich,” he said, adding that the nation would again amaze the world as it did with an economic boom three decades ago.
“The KMT cannot be weak anymore; it must get back on its feet to protect the ROC” and to lead the public to a better life, he said.
KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said the party’s goals for next year’s elections are to win the presidency and more than half of the seats in the legislature,
If it wins the presidency, it would work to improve the economy and social harmony, fight corruption and ensure cross-strait peace, he said.
The 1992 consensus is a key foundation to ensuring stable cross-strait relations, he said.
“Only by improving cross-strait relations can the nation improve its foreign relations, economy and social developments,” he said.
The so-called “1992 consensus” is a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted that he had made up in 2000 and refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and Beijing that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.
The KMT delegates also passed three proposals to amend the party’s charter.
Under the changes, a KMT member elected president would no longer be required to double as party chair and the chair would be able to designate five city mayors and county commissioners to join the KMT Central Standing Committee.
Additional reporting by staff writer
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