Fri, Nov 10, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Ex-KMT lawmaker warns on directly nominating Chiang

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Directly nominating Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) as the party’s candidate for next year’s Taipei mayoral election would “destroy” the 39-year-old politician, former KMT lawmaker Sun Ta-chien (孫大千) said yesterday.

The KMT is reportedly considering bypassing a primary to nominate Chiang, Sun said, citing a report by online news outlet SETN.com.

Chiang’s chances of representing the KMT in the Taipei mayoral election have improved markedly, and the KMT is considering conducting a telephone poll, which Chiang is most likely to win, instead of holding a primary to decide its candidate for the race, SETN reported, quoting political commentator Shang Yi-fu (尚毅夫).

The KMT has conducted an analysis using big data and found that Chiang is the most likely candidate to sway young voters who originally intend to vote for Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) if he seeks re-election.

“Chiang’s greatest advantage is his ability to win votes from women,” SETN quoted Shang as saying, alluding to Chiang’s good looks.

The scenario would thwart the plan of former KMT legislator Ting Shou-chung (丁守中), who has expressed his desire to run again, the report said.

Ting lost to Sean Lien (連勝文), son of former vice president Lien Chan (連戰), in the KMT primary in 2014.

“If this is true, I am worried for Chiang. People cheering him on like this would only get the opposite of what they set out to achieve,” Sun said on Facebook.

“If the KMT gives Chiang this comfort zone, as mentioned in the report, by granting him the candidacy without a primary, it would only destroy Chiang,” he said.

“The most commonly made criticism about the KMT is that it is rife with collusion between local factions and the wealthy elite,” he said.

“The cultivation of talent within the KMT has been largely focused on the offspring of politicians and local faction leaders... It is something young people would have a hard time identifying with,” Sun said.

Chiang is the great grandson of former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石).

He said that some KMT heavyweights are used to “pushing buttons behind the scenes,” dictating candidates when they cannot win an election themselves.

He attributed the party’s reported plan to eschew a primary to an old boys’ network that discourages internal competition.

“Primaries offer KMT members an important opportunity to show their personality and elaborate on their ideals,” Sun said.

“Any KMT talent should enter the primary to expound on their vision and face potential challenges. No one should be dissuaded from running or tapped to run under the table, which are not only obsolete, but also disgusting,” he said.

“No wonder the KMT has not had aspiring talent for so many years,” he said.

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