Sat, Jul 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

KMT candidates to launch campaign today

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

All Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidates running for local government positions in the Nov. 24 election are to gather in Taipei today to officially launch their campaigns.

The local election results are seen as a significant indicator for success in the presidential elections, and the KMT is sparing no effort to return to power in 2020, the party said.

The KMT has downsized its campaign events and is encouraging candidates to leave party chapters and directly engage constituents, as the party faces financial difficulties, party sources added.

The Executive Yuan’s Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee in 2016 froze the assets of Central Investment Co and Hsinyutai Corp, worth NT$15.4 billion and NT$200 million (US$503 million and US$6.55 million) respectively, after the two companies were designated as affiliated with the KMT.

The KMT is contesting the committee’s administrative order in an ongoing lawsuit.

KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih’s (吳敦義) absence from the limelight over the past few weeks was said to be so he could concentrate on behind-the-scenes management, including a combined effort by Wu and former Legislative Yuan speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) to organize a rally for KMT Taichung mayoral candidate Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) on Monday last week.

Party headquarters and local KMT chapters would act in concert, with chapters holding regular meetings to stay on top of electoral affairs and the headquarters thinking up ways to support the chapters, the party said.

KMT Vice Chairman Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) has been tasked with managing events nationwide, the party said, adding that it aims to mobilize at least 200 supporters for each event to help bolster party morale.

Tseng has overseen more than 10 support rallies and has devoted himself to increasing party solidarity and unifying members behind common goals, party sources said.

At an event on Aug. 19 — when the KMT National Congress is scheduled to meet — Wu is to confer flags on all candidates to boost their morale.

The party’s propaganda and information apartments are also working at full speed and a campaign Web site with all the candidates’ programs is to be launched in the coming week, sources said, adding that it would emphasize unpopular local and national policies.

Meanwhile, the KMT said its Central Standing Committee’s road show is to begin with a meeting in Taichung on July 25.

The party’s grand strategy is to consolidate its presence in Taipei and New Taipei City, it said, adding that it would also heavily focus on central Taiwan.

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