Tue, Jun 11, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Panel names five for KMT primary

REJECTED:Hon Hai chairman Terry Gou said he would not sign a pledge limiting his political options, as there are no clear guidelines to ensure fairness in the primary

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

A supporter of Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih lays out posters outside KMT headquarters in Taipei yesterday, urging Wu to run for president.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential nomination panel yesterday announced a list of five candidates for the party’s presidential primary.

The panel named Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), former Taipei County commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) and National Taiwan University political science professor Chang Ya-chung (張亞中).

The candidates are to vie for the KMT’s nomination to run in the presidential election in January next year.

They have been invited to attend a meeting at party headquarters today, as well as three platform presentations to be held by the KMT’s National Policy Foundation think tank from late this month to early next month, KMT Vice Chairman Tseng Yung-chuan (曾永權) said at the party’s headquarters in Taipei.

The KMT would conduct landline-based polls from July 5 to 15 to determine the primary’s winner, he said, adding that the poll results would be reviewed by the KMT Central Standing Committee on July 17, before being submitted to a national convention for approval on July 28.

Asked about Gou’s suggestion last week that the KMT devise a backup plan in case the primary’s winner cannot run in the election, Tseng said the party respects Gou’s opinion, but added that the regulations passed by the committee do not require a backup.

At a news conference in Taipei yesterday, Gou again called on the KMT to consider his suggestion and proposed conducting cellphone-based polls.

He would attend today’s meeting, he said, expressing hope that the party would give him and the other candidates a clear answer regarding his suggestions.

Without clear primary regulations to ensure fairness, “what happened with former legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) could happen again,” he said, referring to Wang’s announcement last week that he would forgo the primary.

The KMT has asked the candidates to sign a pledge saying that they will not run for president if they do not win the primary, but Gou said that he has not signed it.

“Why should I sign anything before there are even [clear] primary regulations in place? I urge the other candidates not to sign it either,” he said.

Chu told reporters at an event in New Taipei City that pledging not to run for president unless nominated by the party is a “basic requirement.”

KMT members who are considering running for president, but not as a party member should not join the primary, he added.

Asked at another event in Taipei whether he would attend today’s meeting, Chu said that he would not, citing conflicting travel plans.

Han, when asked in Kaohsiung about Gou’s call not to sign the pledge, said that he respects Gou’s opinions, adding: “I have my own views.”

Asked the same question at a cross-strait forum in Taipei, KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said that the candidates do not have to agree to “every word” of the pledge and that its contents can be adjusted.

The candidates can focus on areas they find important, as long as they have “the right spirit” and are in line with the KMT’s principles, he added.

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