Fri, Aug 21, 2015 - Page 3 News List

KMT’s Hung to serve ‘beef’: office

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu, left, yesterday jokes with Miaoli County Council Speaker Yu Chung-tien’s son, Yu Yu-chun, who says that Hung is his hero, while campaigning in the county.

Photo: Cheng Hung-ta, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu’s (洪秀柱) campaign office yesterday said “serving beef” to voters remained its top priority and that it still aimed to take the top spot in the campaign, despite the party’s latest poll placing Hung at the bottom.

“Opinion polls are for reference only and putting forward new, appealing policies will continue to be our primary objective,” Hung’s campaign office spokesperson Hsu Chiao-hsin (徐巧芯) said.

Only one person could be elected president on Jan. 16 next year, and Hung’s campaign team has their hearts set on taking the top prize, Hsu said.

Hsu made the remarks one day after KMT headquarters released an internal survey on the three primary presidential candidates, which showed Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) continuing to lead Hung and People First Party (PFP) Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜).

Hung received the support of 18 percent of respondents, while Soong received 19 percent, a narrowing of the gap between them ,which previous polls had put at about 5 percent.

Compared with an earlier opinion poll released by the Cross-Strait Policy Association on Aug. 10, both Tsai’s and Soong’s support ratings have dropped, from 42.9 percent and 23.3 percent respectively.

Voter support for Hung experienced a slight increase, from 16.8 percent to 18 percent.

The Wednesday poll results have been interpreted among the higher echelons of the KMT as an indicator of the end to what they called a temporary surge in the momentum of Soong’s campaign, which he received due to the initial excitement generated by his bid.

According to a report published by the Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) on Wednesday, some KMT heavyweights believe that if Hung’s support level can climb to 30 percent, the party still stands a chance of marginalizing Soong and catching up with Tsai.

The report also quoted a KMT member who spoke on condition of anonymity as saying that the KMT would continue its “cold tactics” toward Soong and concentrate its firepower solely on Tsai.

Dismissing jibes that the internal poll served as an “official recognition” of Hung as the weakest presidential contender in next year’s race, KMT spokesman Yang Wei-chung (楊偉中) said that while Hung was in last place in the poll, her support rate has bounced back from the 13 percent garnered in a previous survey.

“Talk of an official recognition does not matter. At least we are honest with ourselves in the campaign,” Yang said.

Asked to comment on Hung’s mildly improved support rating, KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) said continued endeavor was still needed as the campaign was at in rather early stages.

“Effort and cooperation are what matter the most in election campaigns,” Chu said.

PFP Deputy Secretary-General Liu Wen-hsiung (劉文雄) shrugged off the KMT’s results, saying that the party is “expert” at conducting opinion polls.

“I guess congratulations are in order for the KMT, but shouldn’t they have put Hung in first place?” Liu said, insinuating the possibility of poll manipulation.

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