Thu, Feb 28, 2019 - Page 3 News List

No changes in KMT presidential selection process

OFFICIAL NOMINATION:The final candidate will be chosen based on party-conducted public polls, which will account for 70%, and member votes, 30%

By Shih Hsiao-kuang, Lin Liang-sheng and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu strikes a thoughtful pose during an interview with Pop Radio in Taipei on Tuesday.

Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Central Standing Committee yesterday announced that it would maintain its current method of choosing a presidential candidate for next year’s election.

A party think tank presented the committee with an analysis of various methods for choosing a candidate and suggested that the will of party members be respected.

The think tank suggested that the party make a selection based on a 50-50 or 70-30 weighting of party-conducted public polls and party member votes.

The majority of committee members favored the 70-30 method, which is the current system, the KMT said in a statement.

Departing from its custom of having a KMT spokesperson announce the committee’s decision, KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) attended the post-meeting news conference.

Wu said he supported maintaining the current system and should the party wish to change how the primary is held, it should be made in the following election — not the upcoming one.

“I suggest that we maintain the dignity of the current system,” Wu said.

Asked whether the decision was made to thwart former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu’s (朱立倫) bid for the party’s nomination, Wu said the KMT did not entertain “any considerations that do not serve the greater good.”

As for KMT member Chou Hsi-wei’s (周錫瑋) suggestion for a two-stage primary, Wu said that the party’s system was “the system.”

Chou on Tuesday declared his intention to run in the primary.

“We will not repeat the mistake of finding another candidate after one candidate has already been confirmed by the system,” Wu said.

He was referring to the party upheaval in 2015, when then-KMT chairperson Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) won the party’s primary for the 2016 election only to be replaced later by Chu.

“If we only wanted to win the election, there would be institutionalized procedures that would allow us to attain that goal in a natural manner,” Wu said.

According to sources within the party, the Central Standing Committee’s decision means that the Organizational Development Committee would not include the subclause “Should half of all participants agree, the nomination could be based entirely on public poll results” in the party’s Regulations for Nominating KMT Members Entering Public Office Elections (中國國民黨黨員參加公職人員選舉提名辦法).

The subclause was included in the party’s regulations during the KMT nomination process in 2015.

Chu’s office issued a statement saying it respected the party’s decision.

The office also called on the party to finalize the schedule for the primary to meet public expectations.

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