Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday said that the party is to hold an extraordinary meeting today to adjust its list of legislator-at-large nominees for the Jan. 11 elections amid criticism over its rankings.
Furthermore, his place on the list would be moved down, Wu said on the sidelines of a ceremony of the Taiwan International Invention Award Winners’ Association in Taipei.
The KMT Central Standing Committee on Wednesday approved a 34-person list of at-large nominees.
Photo: Shih Hsiao-kuang, Taipei Times
Since its release, the list has been widely criticized for placing Wu in 10th place, which would almost certainly guarantee him a seat, as the party is expected to garner enough votes for the first 14 or 15 names.
It has also been criticized for including mostly older party members and several pro-unification figures, including former KMT legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅), who was placed eighth, and retired lieutenant general and 800 Heroes for the Republic of China Association president Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷), who was fourth.
KMT Legislator Jason Hsu (許毓仁) said the list showed that the party is unwilling to engage the younger generation, and is only interested in siding with conservative and extremely reactionary groups.
“The list shows no political ideals, no momentum and no energy,” Hsu wrote on Facebook.
KMT Legislator Ko Chih-en (柯志恩) expressed concern that the list might cause the party to lose support.
The list “has disappointed Taiwanese and will cause us to lose votes,” Ko wrote on Facebook.
In Taoyuan, about a dozen KMT Taoyuan City councilors and Central Committee members held a news conference urging the KMT headquarters to move Wu Den-yih down the list and include more members who can represent the younger generation and minority groups.
If the party does not adjust its at-large nominees at the meeting today, Taoyuan City Councilor Huang Ching-ping (黃敬平), who is a member of the committee, said that he and many other committee members would veto their nominations at a committee meeting tomorrow.
KMT Taichung City Councilor Huang Hsin-hui (黃馨慧), Tainan City Councilor Tsai Yu-hui (蔡育輝), Kaohsiung City councilors Huang Shao-ting (黃紹庭), Huang Hsiang-shu (黃香菽) and Chen Ruo-tsui (陳若翠), as well as other committee members, held news conferences in their cities urging the party to adjust the list.
Former premier Simon Chang (張善政), the KMT’s vice presidential candidate, said the list was “unable to meet people’s expectations.”
“There is also the option of the People First Party,” Chang told reporters in Taipei.
“Just do not vote for the Democratic Progressive Party,” he added.
Asked about Chang’s remarks, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the KMT’s presidential candidate, said that Chang has been an independent and is probably unfamiliar with the way in which political parties operate.
Earlier yesterday, Wu Den-yih had told party members protesting outside the headquarters that the list could not be changed.
That Wu Den-yih placed himself 10th shows that the KMT has no confidence that it can win more than half of the seats in the legislature, Taipei City Councilor Lo Chih-chiang (羅智強) said, urging the chairman to move down to 15th.
“I would feel bad if I was at the top of the list, but in reality I had hoped to be placed eighth,” Wu Den-yih said.
While KMT chairpersons in the past ran for president, “considering my experience, would it have been too much even if I had sought the presidency?” he asked.
Additional reporting by CNA
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