Sun, Feb 17, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Former premier Simon Chang seeks 2020 presidential run as independent

By Lee Hsin-fang  /  Staff reporter

Former premier Simon Chang holds up a san — “good,” a character that also appears in his Chinese name — coin, which he gave away as a virtual gift during the Lunar New Year holiday, at an event in Taipei on Feb. 1.

Photo: CNA

Former premier Simon Chang (張善政) yesterday said he would run in next year’s presidential election as an independent candidate.

The decision followed careful deliberation, Chang said, adding that he is gathering a campaign team.

Only by breaking away from the fierce rivalry between the pan-green and pan-blue camps can Taiwan recuperate and recover its former glory, he said.

He would build his cross-strait platform on the premise of “prioritizing Taiwan,” while adhering to the “one China” principle as it is outlined in the Constitution — a notion he came up with after seeing the endless bickering between the two political camps over the so-called “1992 consensus.”

The “consensus” often advocated by former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) has its merits, but the two political camps cannot agree on its meaning, he said.

The Constitution was written with “one China” in mind, so Chang’s cross-strait stance of helping Taiwan live up to the status of that “one China” should be acceptable to both camps, he said.

Asked to comment on the variables that his entry adds to the election and how it would affect the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) prospects, Chang said he is not a KMT member, so he would wait patiently and see who the party nominates as its presidential candidate.

He said he hopes to present a balanced addition to discussions about cross-strait relations and put an end to the “unnecessary bickering” between the pan-green and pan-blue camps over cross-strait issues.

It would be hard for his presidential candidacy signature drive to pass the threshold without the backing of a major party, Chang said, adding that it is unclear whether he could overcome that hurdle, but if he did, voters would have an alternative choice.

He said he would fashion his campaign around a slogan urging the pan-green and pan-blue camps to “end their political wrangling.”

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