Sat, Apr 04, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Hung to join KMT presidential primary

‘DETERMINED’:The deputy speaker said she would not be dissuaded from running, while urging the party to start the nomination process soon to settle on a candidate

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu, center, speaks at a press conference yesterday afternoon in Taipei announcing her bid for the Chinese Nationalist party (KMT) presidential nomination.

Photo: Tseng Wei-chen, Taipei Times

Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday declared her intention to join the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential primary to provide a spark to the party’s lackluster presidential campaign.

Hung, who has spoken out in recent weeks about the reluctance of senior party members to announce their bids, said she would register as a nominee after the party’s new primary election system is set up.

The deputy speaker said she was “determined” and there would be “no turning back” on her decision to join the race.

Competing against her comrades in the primary is the only way for the KMT to establish an “intraparty model for democracy,” Hung said.

The deputy speaker said she would not accept any kind of mediation asking her to withdraw, because any presidential candidate who is a product of mediations and negotiations — which has happened in the past — would put the KMT in a negative light.

Hung called for an open and fair primary in which party members would have the chance to participate and express their point of view on national governance and development.

It would also be the KMT’s first step to show the public that it has indeed changed, she said.

“It used to be that a candidate is decided behind closed doors; whoever showed promise was selected. However, I think that method is outdated. It would not bode well for the KMT if we were to follow this traditional way when we are already short of time,” she said.

Hung has over the past several weeks voiced her concern about the party not being able to field a candidate for the presidency, especially as none of the senior party members considered to be potential contenders — including New Taipei City Mayor and KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) — has signaled their intention to run in the election next year.

Hung urged the party to start the nomination process soon, saying that the KMT will otherwise not be well-prepared seeing that there is little consensus on a potential candidate.

KMT Secretary-General Lee Shu-chuan (李四川) said on Saturday last week that the party would start the presidential nomination process early this month, which is not late compared with 2008 and 2012, when it was also launched in April.

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