Former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) vice chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday announced his bid for the KMT chairmanship, saying he would endeavor to close the gap between the party and the people if elected.
“The disastrous defeat of the KMT in two elections in a row has unnerved its supporters. Many younger KMT members have proposed reform plans in the hopes of rebuilding and bettering the party,” Hau told an impromptu news conference in Taipei yesterday evening.
Hau said following the KMT’s loss in the 2014 nine-in-one elections, he had worked to rebuild the party’s brand and cultivate young talent in his capacity as the vice chairman — a position he held from April 2014 until Saturday, when he stepped down after failing to secure a legislative seat in Keelung.
Nevertheless, voters used their ballots to tell the KMT that the scope of its reforms were not extensive, efficient and good enough, Hau said, adding that the gap between the KMT leadership and its local branches also contributed to the party’s defeat.
“Other reasons include the KMT’s failure to be in sync with people’s needs and volatile social trends. From 7.65 million votes in the 2008 presidential race to 3.81 million votes last weekend, the party has lost more than 3 million votes in the past few weeks,” the former Taipei Mayor said.
“We must act fast to regain those ‘vanishing votes’ before they are gone forever,” he said.
Asked whether he regarded himself as a better fit for the party’s chairmanship than Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), who entered the by-election for the KMT leadership on Wednesday, Hau said they sought different paths for the party in terms of cross-strait ties, without elaborating.
Hau said he only publicly endorsed Hung she was later replaced by former KMT chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) as the KMT’s presidential candidate in October last year out of respect for the party’s democratic primary mechanism.
With regard to Vice President Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) reported interest in entering the by-election, Hau said Wu had a better grasp of Taiwan’s local conditions, particularly in central and southern parts of the nation.
“If Vice President Wu is able to convince me that the path he envisions for the KMT is better than mine, then I am willing to give him my support in the March 26 election,” Hau said.
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