Several Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members yesterday dismissed media reports that Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) is to be replaced by KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) as the party’s presidential candidate, saying the allegations were based on unfounded rumors.
“The KMT officially selected Hung as its presidential candidate at a party congress on July 19. The party headquarters and local branches have all begun campaigning for the candidate,” KMT spokesperson Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) said.
The media reports are based on unsubstantiated rumors, she added.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
Lin was referring to an article yesterday in the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper), which cited a “credible anonymous source” as saying that two senior KMT officials had been sounding out several party heavyweights over their sentiment toward entering next year’s Jan. 16 election as Chu’s running mate.
The report said the two officials only resumed their current posts after Chu took over as chairman of the KMT from President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in January.
KMT Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) said she was “extremely annoyed” to hear these kinds of rumors on political talk shows over the past month.
“Who are those anonymous sources exactly? Stop hiding in the shadows,” Lo said, dismissing the possibility of the party dropping a candidate that has been legitimately selected via the party’s primary process.
Lo said that rumors such as this seemed to be aimed at fostering the false belief among pan-blue supporters that the KMT could replace its presidential candidate at any time and thus encourage them to support someone else.
She urged KMT supporters not to be manipulated by politically motivated rumormongers and to stay united.
KMT Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏) shrugged off the reports, saying that both Chu and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) have campaigned for Hung.
“While there is plenty of room for Hung’s campaign to improve, the KMT needs unity more than ever. Such rumors can only hurt the party,” Alicia Wang said.
Wang Jin-pyng, who was said to be interested in making a presidential bid, also dismissed the allegations, saying that there were too many rumors in circulation and the public should not take them seriously.
Asked when he planned to attend Hung’s campaign events to show his support, Wang Jin-pyng said that for Hung to win the election, “collective wisdom and action are required.”
“If I act unilaterally it will only fuel unnecessary speculation,” he said.
“It would be like throwing a tiny stone into a pond, which does not cause much of an effect except for a small ripple,” the legislative speaker said.
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