Sat, Jan 19, 2019 - Page 3 News List

KMT: Members call for primary timetable

By Chang Chung-yi and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu, left, and KMT Legislator Wang Jin-pyng hold a book written and signed by Wang at a year-end banquet at the Grand Hotel Kaohsiung on Thursday.

Photo: CNA

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators yesterday urged the party to announce soon after the Lunar New Year break the schedule and regulations for its primaries ahead of next year’s presidential election.

They also called on KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) to make clear whether he intends to run in the primaries.

Former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) on Dec. 25 announced his intent to run for president, while former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) on Thursday said that he would enroll and would register for the primary “when the time is right.”

“Should the opportunity present itself, four years would be enough,” Wang said, apparently referring to a single presidential term.

KMT Legislator Lin Yi-hua (林奕華) said the primaries would be the first to see so many members vying for the party’s presidential nomination.

The announcement of the schedule and regulations for the primaries should be announced after the Lunar New Year holiday early next month, as the public’s perception of the party could shift given more time for hopefuls to jockey for position, Lin said.

The public is keen to see members who are willing to make their intentions known, she said, adding that the KMT must be transparent and have a plan in place early to challenge the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

KMT Legislator Apollo Chen (陳學聖) said that June should be the deadline to finalize the party’s candidate, as that would leave more time to smooth feathers ruffled during the primary.

Senior party members should step forward if they are interested, he said, adding that as party chairman, Wu should state his intentions so that those who would have to take over his role would be better prepared to handle affairs.

Wu should make the primary regulations transparent and not tilt them in his favor, Chen said.

Members who are willing to face problems and shoulder the burden, like KMT Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), are favored by the public, KMT Legislator Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said.

Moving forward the timetable for the primary would facilitate negotiations among hopefuls, he said, repeating calls for Wu to clarify his intentions.

There is no precedent in the KMT for a party chairperson to excuse themselves from their duties if they contest a presidential primary as in the DPP, KMT caucus secretary-general Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀) said.

However, the chairperson should excuse themselves once the primary begins to the vice chairperson or an acting chairperson to reassure the primary winner, Lee said, adding that KMT caucus whip Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) would be an excellent choice for the temporary role.

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