Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) yesterday confirmed that KMT Legislator Cheng Ru-fen (鄭汝芬) of Changhua County, who had pulled out of the legislative race in July, had agreed to run for the party in the Jan. 16 elections.
The KMT’s Central Standing Committee yesterday also rescinded its nomination of KMT Legislator Huang Chao-shun (黃昭順) of Kaohsiung, who on Tuesday announced her decision to withdraw from the elections. The committee nominated former Mainland Affairs Council deputy minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀) in her stead.
Huang said she was quitting because of a leg injury, but many have interpreted her move as jumping ship — similar to what other KMT members have done — in the face of the party’s dismal election prospects.
The return of Cheng, who has accepted the party’s nomination to run in Changhua, is an encouraging sign for the KMT, Chu said.
Speaking in Changhua, Cheng said she had dropped out earlier because she wanted to spend more time with her family, but the support and encouragement of her family and many local supporters prompted her to reconsider and accept the party’s request.
Many have advised her to run as an independent, instead of on the KMT ticket, during a time when the KMT’s governance is widely questioned, Cheng said.
“But I cannot abandon the party when its morale is down,” she said.
Chu said the party was continuing its efforts to change the mind of KMT Legislator Chang Chia-chun (張嘉郡) of Yunlin, whose father — former Yunlin County commissioner Chang Jung-wei (張榮味) — first announced her withdrawal, which was later confirmed by the legislator herself.
“Chang Chia-chun has been visiting local residents and working hard [even after announcing her withdrawal]. We will try to help her work out the situation with her family,” Chu said.
Chang Jung-wei is widely believed to be the main reason why Chang Chia-chun bowed out of the race.
Asked about Chang Hsien-yao, who had been accused of leaking confidential information to China by his superior, former Mainland Affairs Council minister Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦), Chu said: “He has been proved innocent, and so he definitely can represent the KMT in the election.”
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