Thu, Jun 06, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Han Kuo-yu agrees to join KMT primary

KAOHSIUNG MEETING:The mayor told the party’s nomination panel that he would abide by the party’s primary regulations and pay the NT$5 million registration fee

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu, front center, attends a dengue fever prevention event in Kaohsiung yesterday.

Photo: Fang Chih-hsien, Taipei Times

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) yesterday said he told the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential nomination panel that he is willing to join the party’s primary.

When the five-member panel asked if he would like to participate, his answer was that he would, Han told reporters after a closed-door meeting with the panel at the Garden Villa hotel in Kaohsiung.

The panel explained the party’s primary regulations and information about three platform presentations scheduled for June 25, June 29 and July 3 in southern, central and northern Taiwan respectively, he said.

He agreed to the regulations and would pay the required NT$5 million (US$159,286) registration fee, he said.

“That is not a problem and I will do whatever is required. I will do things right, since I have agreed to take part in the primary,” he added.

Asked if he would attend the platform presentations, Han said the events were very important and that he would attend if he could.

Prior to the meeting, Han told reporters that he and the panel had agreed that the meeting would be private.

If it were public, “it would be difficult to say some things,” he said.

The KMT said the panel is to consult other party members interested in joining the presidential primary, as well as those who have been recommended to run, before it announces its official list of primary candidates on Monday next week.

The panel has met with former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), former Taipei County commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) and Sun Yat-sen School president Chang Ya-chung (張亞中).

When asked about his meeting with the panel today, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) told reporters on the sidelines of a Dragon Boat Festival event in New Taipei City that the afternoon meeting would be open to the media.

He would propose that the primary include cellphone-based polls and a debate between all KMT candidates, he said.

“People cannot choose a candidate based on their rallies. You need to tell people your policy plans and that is what I have been doing everyday, waking up early and going to bed late,” he said.

He would also protest to KMT headquarters about its lack of strategies to unify members, he said.

“The party not only lacks a general election strategy, but plans to unify its members,” he said, adding that there are smear campaigns against him every day, organized by people who pretend to support Han.

KMT Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said including cellphone-based polls was an option to consider.

“They [the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)] can do it, then of course we can do it,” he said when asked by reporters at an event celebrating National Taiwan Normal University’s anniversary.

Asked about the KMT’s election strategy, Wang said he does not know if the party has one, although having one is necessary.

Chu told reporters during an interview in Taipei that the KMT needs to have an election strategy to avoid internal rifts.

Recent polls showed that the public’s support for the KMT has declined, while that for the DPP had increased, he said.

This could be because of competition between KMT members, so the party should have plans to ensure such rivalry unfolds in a positive manner, he said.

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