Wed, May 22, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Han would be ‘disappointed’ if left out of primary

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu speaks to reporters in the city yesterday.

Photo: Wang Jung-hsiang, Taipei Times

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) yesterday told the Kaohsiung City Council that he would be disappointed if the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) nomination panel overlooks him when selecting the party’s presidential primary candidates, but there would be nothing he could say.

During a question-and-answer session, Kaohsiung City Councilor Fang Hsin-yuan (方信淵) of the KMT compared Kaohsiung to Sleeping Beauty and praised Han for “saving the city from its 30-year slumber,” but asked if the city would fall back asleep if Han was elected president.

Han would certainly win if he did run, Fang added.

Han told Fang that no one could “save” Kaohsiung, he had only “awakened” it after the central government spent decades focusing on developing northern Taiwan and paying little attention to the south.

The KMT’s five-member nomination panel has not contacted him, “but if they come and ask me [if I want to participate], my answer would be: ‘Yes, I do,’” he said.

“If they decide to skip me, we would be disappointed, but there would be nothing to say,” he added.

Either way, the city’s residents should know that “I will never leave the city,” he said.

“Han Kuo-yu will forever stay with the residents of Kaohsiung, no matter what,” he added.

Han earlier this month said that he would agree to run for president if the KMT decides to draft him, and that he would work from Kaohsiung if elected.

According to the KMT’s nomination regulations passed on Wednesday last week, the nomination panel is to consult party members who have said they are interested in joining the primary, as well as those who have been recommended by others, before releasing its candidates list on June 10.

Primary candidates would not be required to fill out a registration form, but would have to pay NT$5 million (US$158,932) by the end of the month to cover the expense of conducting surveys that are part of the primary and organizing their televised presentation of the candidates’ platforms, the regulations state.

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