Former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) yesterday called on the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) headquarters to make a speedy decision on how it intends to choose the party’s next presidential candidate, saying that further delays would only complicate things.
Chu, who has announced his bid for the presidency, said on the sidelines of a public event in Taipei that the KMT could not afford to be divided, given that not even a united party could be sure of victory in next year’s election.
“The KMT would be weakening if it allowed [inaction] to affect its members,” Chu said, adding — using a baseball analogy — that a team could only secure victory if all of their main pitchers were strong.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
KMT legislators and KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) should explicitly convey the party’s intentions to Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), regardless of whether it plans to recruit him as a candidate or “extend a particular invitation” to him to join the primary, Chu said.
The KMT would have his support in either scenario, but it should make the situation clear and simple, he said.
“If a primary is what the party chooses, it should be fair. If recruitment is what it wants, then it should make a decision as soon as possible to avoid further complications,” he said.
Asked whether he felt marginalized given that Wu has plans to meet with Han, but not him, Chu said he had met with the chairman a few weeks ago and that he “does not see the need to meet again.”
Elsewhere, Wu said that he would not only meet with Han, but would also exchange opinions with Chu and KMT Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who is also seeking the KMT nomination.
Chu also criticized draft amendments to the Act Governing Relations Between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (台灣地區與大陸地區人民關係條例) proposed by the Executive Yuan to stipulate high thresholds for cross-strait political agreements, which has been called an attempt to prevent the KMT from signing a peace accord with Beijing if it regains the presidency.
“It is unethical to capitalize on cross-strait tensions and [the hypothetical prospect of] war for political gains,” he said.
If it secured victory, the KMT would rescind what he said would be unconstitutional regulations.
Separately yesterday, Wang said it was not as certain as some might hope that Han would be a surefire winner in next year’s vote.
“The party should clearly explain why it wants to recruit [Han] and why I should be excluded from the race just because of that,” Wang said.
Asked whether he would consider running as an independent if he did not win the primary or the KMT recruited someone else, Wang said he had not considered that option and he would simply do his best to overcome the challenges that lie ahead.
Additional reporting by Chen Wen-chan and Chen Yun
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