The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Central Standing Committee should sit down with party hopefuls to negotiate a candidate for next year’s presidential election rather than holding a primary, the party’s Organizational Development Committee director Lee Che-hua (李哲華) said yesterday, adding that Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) should be included in the selection process.
Former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) and KMT Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) have declared their intent to run in the party primary.
Lee said that the committee should tell the division that is tasked with the nomination to sit down with Wang and Chu, and ask their opinions about including Han as a candidate.
Wang and Chu could decide between themselves what method would be used to select the party’s presidential candidate, he said.
The KMT in February decided that party candidates should be selected based on a 70-30 weighting of public opinion polls and party members’ votes.
When party chapters in Taichung, Kaohsiung, Chiayi City and Yunlin County were discussing which candidates would run in the local elections last year, they only reinstated the 70-30 voting system because discussions broke down, Lee said.
Party-facilitated discussions would simplify the process to provide a candidate for the KMT’s presidential campaign while resolving whether Han should be included in the primary, Lee said.
Lee said that the party should to nominate a strong candidate, instead of simply holding a primary for formality’s sake, especially as the KMT could be facing former premier William Lai (賴清德).
Lai on Monday registered to run in the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential primary.
Previously, a proposed timetable and guidelines would be submitted to the KMT’s committee for approval, and then would be mailed to potential candidates and party members by mid-April, Lee said.
Registration for the primary is usually held in May, while party member voting and public polls are concluded by June, with the results announced at the national party congress in July, Lee said.
According to party sources, the proposed mediation process would have to be reviewed and approved by next week, or the week after that at the latest.
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