Sun, Sep 18, 2016 - Page 3 News List

KMT fostering 50 young candidates for 2018: report

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer

Taking lessons from its landslide losses in the 2014 nine-in-one elections and this year’s presidential and legislative elections, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has started preparing for the 2018 elections with plans to foster 50 candidates in the hopes of retaking several districts, townships and cities, Chinese-language media reported yesterday.

According to a report published yesterday by the Chinese-language United Daily News, the KMT’s plan, dubbed the “Wulin Project” (武林計畫) — a play on the Chinese pronunciation of the target number of candidates, wuling — will not place a limit on a candidate’s age, but will require all potential candidates to participate in a forum detailing the party’s ideals on its charter and city governance.

KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and KMT Central Committee member Sean Lien (連勝文) have been active behind the scenes and have not ruled out directly providing resources to support young people to run in the elections, the report said.

Aside from the forum, young potential candidates will also have to accept the party’s arrangements on which electoral districts they would be running in, as well as participate in a “customized” training program, the report said, adding that the party seems to be targeting younger party members currently serving on city or county councils.

As Hau reportedly plans to tap 20 members from Taipei, New Taipei City, Keelung and Taoyuan, his spokesperson Yu Shu-hui (游淑慧) was quoted by the United Daily News as saying that Hau is still making plans, adding that Hau would provide candidates with opportunities to gain public exposure and to voice their policies.

Hau has also established a city government database that is to be open to all of the party’s candidates running in 2018, Yu was quoted as saying in the report, adding that Hau would also host meetings to allow the candidates to gain a better understanding of each others’ policies.

Lien’s spokesperson, Chien Chen-yu (錢震宇), was quoted by the United Daily News as saying that the Youth Development Foundation, which Lien heads, would provide resources to young members willing to run in the election to hold events to boost their popularity.

However, the United Daily News reported that some elements in the KMT expressed doubts over the party’s insistence on choosing which electoral districts candidates should run in.

Former KMT Youth League director Hsu Chiao-jui (徐巧蕊) said she did not mind having electoral districts appointed by the party, but added that it should be based on whether such plans would help the party win elections.

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