Thu, Jun 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

KMT picks Yang Wen-ke for Hsinchu race

SEPARATE STRATEGIES:A party official rejected allegations that it has abandoned polls and primaries, saying that plans for Hsinchu County focused on coordination

By Shih Hsiao-kuang and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Lin Wei-chou yesterday covers his face as he leaves a news conference at the Legislative Yuan announcing the party’s candidate for Hsinchu County commissioner.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Central Standing Committee yesterday accepted the Nomination and Review Committee’s nomination of Hsinchu Deputy County Commissioner Yang Wen-ke (楊文科) as the party’s candidate for county commissioner in the November elections.

KMT Organization and Development Department director Lee Che-hua (李哲華) rejected rumors that the party would continue to work with Republican Party Chairwoman Hsu Hsin-ying (徐欣瑩), as the KMT now has its own candidate.

Yang is the preferred candidate with no political baggage, and as he is Hakka, would be a bonus for the party in Hsinchu County, which has a large Hakka population, Lee said.

Addressing doubts voiced by KMT Legislator Lin Wei-chou (林為洲), a party hopeful for Hsinchu, Lee said that the Central Standing Committee’s approval of the Hsinchu chapter’s nomination has sealed the deal.

Yang would receive the full support of the party, he said, urging all KMT members to maintain solidarity.

“We understand how Lin feels, but he has said that he would not leave the party,” Lee said, adding that he was certain the party could work things out within its system.

The KMT prefers for Lin to continue to focus his efforts in the Legislative Yuan, Lee said.

Allegations that the KMT has abandoned polls and primaries are unfounded, he said.

Polls are just one reference, and the party’s highest authority outside of its national congress, the Central Standing Committee, has decided that there would be no primaries for Hsinchu, he added.

Unlike New Taipei City and Taipei, where primaries were conducted from the very beginning, the party’s plans for Hsinchu took the form of coordination between hopefuls, Lee said.

Commenting on media reports that an unnamed individual offered to donate NT$400 million (US$13.4 million) if the KMT nominated Yang and collaborated with the Republican Party to ensure Hsu’s victory, Lee said the KMT would take legal action against anyone who seeks to slander the party with false, unsubstantiated allegations.

KMT Central Standing Committee member Chiang Shuo-ping (江碩平) said that a lack of local support for Lin led to the party’s decision to continue the coordination process to maximize its chances of winning.

Lin would win polls due to his high profile, but he does not have the hearts of local residents, Chiang said, adding that the party needs to close ranks if it wants to win in the county.

Another committee member, KMT Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣), commended KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) hard work to resolve nomination issues, but said that it could have been more prudent to find more flexible methods that would meet with the general approval of all involved.

Miscommunication could have occurred in the decisionmaking process for the nomination, which has led to less-than-satisfactory results, he said.

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