Sat, Feb 11, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Hung says she is not quitting

‘MINORITY’:The KMT chairwoman disputed reports that a group of retired KMT civil servants wants her to quit, saying others have complained about not being consulted

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu speaks at a news conference at POP Radio in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) yesterday said she would not withdraw from the KMT chairperson race, despite calls from a group of retired public servants for her to drop out and endorse former Taichung mayor Jason Hu (胡志強).

The Association of Retired Public Servants, Teachers, Military and Police of the Republic of China has been collecting signatures for a statement titled “Saving the KMT: Chairperson Hung’s unavoidable responsibility,” local media reports said.

The statement urges Hung to give up her re-election bid in favor of running in the 2020 legislative elections. It invites all chairperson candidates to undergo a “coordination process” to decide the winner instead of by vote in May.

The association recommends that Hu be tapped for the party’s top post and calls on former vice president Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), also a chairperson candidate, to run in the 2020 presidential election.

While the association had expected the May election to foster party solidarity, it is turning out to be “unimaginably cruel,” the statement said, adding that party members are asking why the KMT has not been able to improve its poll numbers despite the poor performance of the Democratic Progressive Party government.

The association openly supported Hung during the chairperson by-election in February last year, when she ran against then-acting chairperson Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠), Taipei City Councilor Lee Hsin (李新) and KMT Legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖).

The main proponents of the statement are said to include former Examination Yuan secretary-general Lin Shui-chi (林水吉), former secretary general of the Huang Fu-hsing (黃復興) military veterans’ branch Hu Chu-sheng (胡筑生) and former chief secretary of the legislature’s Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee Chen Rong-yang (陳榮洋).

Hung said in a radio interview that it was not possible for her to follow the group’s wishes.

She said those calling for her to quit were a “minority” within the association, as “there have been association members telling [her] that they were upset about the statement because it was not collectively discussed.”

When asked about her cross-strait policy, Hung reiterated that she has not proposed scrapping the latter half of the “one China with different interpretations” doctrine, the KMT’s orthodox stance on cross-strait relations.

“‘One China, different interpretations’ is included in the ‘1992 consensus,’” she said.

When asked to explain why she is promoting “one China, same interpretation” if she is not against “one China, different interpretations,” Hung said she meant that “in the future, following cross-strait negotiations, both sides could walk on a path that both jointly agree to take.”

Hung said she looks forward to a civil and democratic competition and is not worried about a possible overlap between her voter base and that of former KMT legislator Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛), who earlier this week said that she has been encouraged to run and is giving it serious thought.

With her family background, Pan — along with KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), son of former premier and army general Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村) — is said to have the potential to draw away votes for Hung from the Huang Fu-hsing branch.

“All candidates have some kind of voter base overlap,” Hung said.

If Pan joins the race, she would be the sixth aspirant, following Hung, Wu, Hau, former vice chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢) and former Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Corp president Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜).

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