Sun, Feb 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Wu stands by decision to decide candidates by polls

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih, third left, yesterday attends a Lunar New Year event in a veterans’ village in Hsinchu.

Photo: Wang Chun-chieh, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday defended the party headquarters’ decision to choose candidates for November’s local elections though public opinion polls rather than KMT member surveys, saying that the method would create the fewest grievances among aspirant candidates.

Speaking on the sidelines of a party event in Taoyuan, Wu said that polls are the most reasonable way to choose candidates.

It is human nature for politicians to flock to places where the hope of winning is higher, such as Kaohsiung and Tainan, where Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) members have been engaged in cut-throat competition, Wu said.

“Likewise, most KMT members seek to compete for nominations in constituencies where the KMT is more likely to win, while shunning more difficult places,” Wu said, adding that this was why the KMT headquarters decided to use “fair and open” public opinion polls.

Wu made the remarks one day after KMT Chiayi City Council Speaker Hsiao Shu-li (蕭淑麗) expressed distrust of the party’s polls and announced her decision to run for Chiayi mayor as an independent, potentially splitting the pan-blue vote in a city currently governed by the DPP.

Hsiao’s announcement came only days after a polling company entrusted by the KMT with gauging the approval ratings of the party’s two aspirant candidates for Keelung mayor — KMT Immigrant Affairs Committee chairman Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功) and Keelung City Council Speaker Sung Wei-li (宋瑋莉) — mistakenly mixed up survey data.

Due to the mistake, the KMT on Sunday morning last week announced Hsieh as the party’s candidate, only to declare Sung the winner in the afternoon.

“Who are you going to trust? The KMT chairman? Do you think everyone will willingly accept [his pick]? That is impossible,” Wu said, adding that doing so would result in criticism that the KMT is an undemocratic party.

The party has contacted Hsiao and asked her to reconsider, Wu said, adding that he also hopes to resolve the controversies in Keelung before the Lunar New Year.

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