Sun, Jan 08, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Hau Lung-bin to run for top KMT job

’EAGER EYES’:The public is desperate ‘for someone to express their bitterness,’ Hau said, adding that the KMT is in a downward spiral and risks becoming irrelevant

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin offers incense at a Kuo clan ceremony in Taipei’s Neihu District yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday announced his bid for the KMT chairmanship, saying that he had planned to announce his bid tomorrow, but changed his mind after former vice president Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) on Friday said he would have “some news” for the public after the weekend.

Hau said on Facebook that he decided to run for the chairmanship “after a period of deliberation.”

In a long post entitled “Looking forward to a selfless chairperson election,” Hau asked: “How many people still remember the selfless KMT where revolutionaries were willing to spill their blood for the cause and leaders gave up their power for the nation’s unification more than 100 years ago?”

“I’ve been asking the question myself for more than two years and expecting a leader to unite all the forces within the party, to prioritize the nation and the party over considerations of personal power,” Hau wrote.

He said that he admires KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) for having had the courage to take the reins of the party during its most difficult time, and that he respected Wu.

However, he has “been witnessing a party that is going downward; no matter how many mistakes the ruling Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] has made, the KMT, with the exception of its caucus, seems to have become an outsider [in the political realm],” Hau wrote.

Despite its criticism of the government, the public has no political force to rely on, he said, adding that he has “seen the people’s eager eyes for someone to express their bitterness.”

He wrote that the leader anticipated by the public “should not be someone who is obsessed with high-flown cross-strait rhetoric, the seniority of the Chinese officials they are able to meet and the reception they receive [in China],” rather, they should understand the hardships of the public and how to solve their problems.

Hau said the mission of the party is to “save the nation, not any person’s personal political life.”

“The crisis we are facing right now is that, with the KMT, or the main opposition party [not properly functioning] and not able to counterbalance the dominant DPP, we are losing even the Republic of China, which had been the common denominator of our society,” he said. “We are not only losing the party, but also our nation.”

It is due to the graveness of this burden that he decided to run for chairman even though Wu also revealed his intention to run, the vice chairman said.

Hau did not specify why he changed his scheduled date of announcement to yesterday, but said his “first thought upon hearing Wu’s intention was to postpone his own announcement.”

Local media outlets reported that Hau was dumbfounded by Wu’s “sudden change of mind” because on Wednesday last week he had informed Wu of his plan to run and also his intention to announce it this week, to which Wu made no explicit response.

Hung yesterday brushed off the question of whether there had been efforts on the part of KMT heavyweights to dissuade any of the three aspirants from running.

“Even if there were indeed attempts to dissuade candidates, I would be the last to be made to bow out,” she said.

Hau was said to have been asked to withdraw from the race, as his and Wu’s separate bids would greatly increase the chance of Hung being re-elected.

Hau’s office rebutted the rumor on Friday night, but added that “in a democratic nation there should be no more attempts to persuade anyone to withdraw.”

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