Wed, Jan 02, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Wu waiting for an ‘opportune time’ to clarify position on a presidential run

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih, left, shakes hands with a supporter at a New Year’s Day flag-raising ceremony in front of the party’s headquarters in Taipei yesterday morning.

Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday said that he would express his decision on a potential presidential bid next year at an “opportune time,” as he ushered in the new year with four expectations for the party.

Wu made the remarks on the sidelines of a morning flag-raising ceremony in front of KMT headquarters in Taipei.

Unlike his previous reluctance to comment on the possibility of running in next year’s presidential election, Wu said that he would “make his position known at an opportune time.”

According to the KMT’s past practice, the presidential primary is likely to be held in May or June, he said.

Wu said that his priority at the moment is to assist the 15 local governments led by KMT members with boosting the sales of their local products and tourist numbers, including through the establishment of an “interaction platform” with Beijing.

Speculation about Wu’s interest in running for president has fallen and risen over the past few years. It reached a high point after he was elected KMT chairman in May 2017.

Former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), who represented the KMT in the 2016 presidential race, is the only party member to have announced his intent to vie for the KMT’s presidential nomination for next year.

KMT Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who built influence across party lines after serving as a legislative speaker for almost two decades, last week said that he could be announce a presidential bid soon, if and when “fate creates the right conditions.”

At the flag-raising ceremony yesterday, Wu listed four expectations for the KMT, including that all party members, whether they hold public office or work for the party, must work to create a clean and efficient government, as well as city or county councils.

“Secondly, we must work to allow people to make big money and be fully committed to boosting the economy. People will only be able to live a good life when there is economic prosperity and an even distribution of wealth,” he said.

November’s referendum results indicated that efforts to combat air pollution and to ensure a just and harmonious society on the basis of household amity are the shared expectations of the public and the government, he added.

The fourth expectation is that the KMT would do its utmost to safeguard the peaceful and stable development of cross-strait relations based on the “1992 consensus,” Wu said.

The so-called “1992 consensus” — a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000 — refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

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