Vice Legislative Speaker Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權), who heads President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) campaign office for chairmanship of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), said yesterday the president had garnered about 100,000 signatures to qualify him to run in the election.
“We are compiling the signatures, which have exceeded 100,000 ... we have passed the minimum threshold,” Tseng told reporters at the legislature.
“President Ma has also completed all the documents. He will register his candidacy at party headquarters in person at 12:10pm tomorrow [today],” Tseng said.
To be eligible for registration, Ma had to garner the signatures of 3 percent of party members, or 15,000 people, by yesterday.
The election will be held on July 26.
Ma announced his bid for KMT chairmanship earlier this month, ending months of speculation about a power struggle between KMT Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄) and the president.
Tseng sought to help the president collect the signatures through the KMT caucus since June 14, but said Ma did not plan to boost the number of signatures to highlight party members’ support for his candidacy.
Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) also took the lead to endorse Ma’s campaign on June 16 despite long-term media speculation of a rift between Wang and Ma.
“Legislative Speaker Wang became the first to support the bid. Therefore, the signature drive through [KMT] lawmakers has been very successful,” Tseng said.
Tseng declined to specify which legislator had garnered the most signatures for the president.
“We don’t count the number of signatures each individual legislator collected,” Tseng said.