Sun, Feb 21, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Hung says not dodging young members’ questions

TAKING IT ONLINE:Hung Hsiu-chu said that she has always been happy to talk to young people, adding that she would be answering questions on her Facebook page

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Former deputy legislative speaker Hung Hsiu-chu gestures during a book launch in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times

Former deputy legislative speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday said that her absence from a debate organized by pro-reform Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) members for candidates in the KMT’s chairperson by-election was not to dodge questions from young people, adding that she did not attend due to a scheduling conflict.

Hung said the claims that her absence from the event were an attempt to avoid questions from the party’s younger members was not true, adding that she has always been happy to talk to young people and would offer her answers on Facebook later.

She did not participate in the debate because she had to be in Chiayi for an activity that had been scheduled earlier, Hung said.

The remaining three KMT leadership candidates — Acting Chairperson Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠), Taipei City Councilor Lee Hsin (李新) and KMT Legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖) — attended yesterday’s debate, which was organized by younger KMT members and had an audience of mostly young people.

“The candidates should support events like this, because it is a milestone for the election and shows the beginning of the party’s democratization. So I am more than willing to participate in this event,” Chen said before the debate.

“If the KMT could establish a bottom-up mechanism like this one, have a bottom-up decisionmaking process and write off the restriction [that chairperson candidates should have been a member of the Central Committee or the Central Review Committee], I think it then has a chance to turn the tables,” he added.

Lee said it is “regrettable that Hung was not present for the debate. The KMT now faces a major problem, which is the [lack of] young people in the party, so I consider it as an obligation and responsibility for us to attend an event organized by the party’s younger members.”

In response to Hung’s excuse of conflicting schedules, Huang said that she had “other important events [scheduled for yesterday] as well, but did not want to miss the chance to have a conversation with young people.”

The period for collecting signatures to run in the KMT chairperson by-election started on Jan. 26 and ends today, with tomorrow 22 the date for official registration. The vote is to take place on March 26.

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