Sun, May 14, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Ex-VP Wu Den-yih calls for KMT solidarity

GETTING CLOSEKMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu did not use the speaker’s podium at a policy presentation in Banciao Stadium, a move that was shadowed by her rivals

By Alison Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairmanship candidates former vice president Wu Den-yih, left, KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu, center, and KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin yesterday join hands at a policy presentation in New Taipei City’s Banciao Stadium for members in Taipei, New Taipei City, Keelung and Yilan County.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Former vice president Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday called for solidarity in the lead up to the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairperson election on Saturday as accusations fly of candidates being disloyal to the party.

The KMT held a policy presentation for members in Taipei, New Taipei City, Keelung and Yilan County, with hundreds of supporters bused to the Banciao Stadium in New Taipei City.

Criticism of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government’s policies was rife, with candidates repeating talking points from policy presentations on television over the past two weeks.

KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), the first of the six candidates to speak, did not stand on the stage, but shunned the podium to speak at the audience’s level.

Her move was copied by the other candidates, apart from former KMT legislator Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛), who asked whether she could be seen from the back rows before walking onto the stage.

Wu also interacted with the audience during his 15-minute talk, responding to accusations by KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), who appeared to criticize Wu over a statement on Friday that questioned Hau’s commitment to the party due to his time as Environmental Protection Administration minister in the administration of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) of the DPP, while Hau Pei-tsun (郝柏村), Hau Lung-bin’s father, was premier under former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), who is denounced as a “traitor” by some in the KMT.

Wu said he issued the statement because Hau Lung-bin on May 5 said that Wu had “thrived” under Lee’s party leadership.

Wu invited Hau Lung-bin onto the stage to shake hands, calling for solidarity to live up to the “solidarity signature petition,” proposed by Hau and endorsed and signed by all six candidates on Wednesday last week during a televised debate.

Hung was also invited to stand alongside them and they declared their commitment to solidarity, drawing applause from the audience.

Wu has also clarified his stance on other issues in the past few days after he was reported to have said in an interview that those who seek unification with China could realize their dream by moving to Fuzhou or Shanghai without having to drag 23 million Taiwanese with them.

The remarks reportedly exasperated deep-blue KMT members.

Wu on Friday denied the comments, saying he is “not an idiot.”

He said it is a matter of freedom of speech to espouse independence or unification.

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