The goal of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) planned extraordinary party congress later this month is to galvanize a consensus within the party to help it win January’s presidential election, KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) said yesterday.
After attending a Double Ten National Day ceremony earlier in the day, Chu, who doubles as New Taipei City mayor, said at the Taipei City Hall that the agenda, the date and the location for the extraordinary party congress has not been finalized.
However, what is certain is the purpose of the meeting: To galvanize a consensus to help the party win the election, Chu said.
Chu’s remarks came after the KMT Central Standing Committee on Wednesday passed a resolution unanimously to convene an extraordinary party congress later this month to consider a proposal to replace KMT presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱).
Hung, who was nominated by the party on July 19, has consistently lagged at least 20 points behind Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in most polls, and the gap has shown no signs of narrowing.
Many KMT candidates for the legislative elections, which are scheduled to be held on the same day as the presidential election, Jan. 16, fear that the weakness of Hung’s candidacy would hurt their chances, calling for another face at the top of the ticket.
Chu is expected to be drafted to replace Hung at the party congress, but when asked about the possibility of Hung as his running mate, he said it was a hypothetical question that had not been discussed within the party.
Chu said he would continue communicating with Hung, who has resisted efforts to remove her as the party’s standard-bearer, and felt confident that the issue would be satisfactorily addressed.
In response to questions on whether the KMT would cooperate with People First Party presidential candidate James Soong (宋楚瑜), Chu said he has always respected Soong, a former KMT political heavyweight.
Chu said he would discuss possible cooperation between the two parties with Soong, adding that he believes that there are many ways to do so.
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