Wed, Jun 12, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Cellphone-based polls eschewed at KMT meeting

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Cheng Mei-hua speaks yesterday at a news conference at the party’s headquarters in Taipei.

Photo: CNA

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday after a meeting with its candidates confirmed that its presidential primary would not include cellphone-based polls.

The proposal was not adopted because participants in the meeting could not reach a consensus on the issue, KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director-general Cheng Mei-hua (程美華) said after the meeting at the party’s headquarters in Taipei.

As a result, the primary would only include landline telephone polls, as stipulated in the primary regulations passed by the KMT Central Standing Committee last month, she said.

The meeting was attended by Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), former Taipei County commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋), National Taiwan University political science professor Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) and other party members.

While presidential aspirants Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) and former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) could not attend, they each sent a representative to the meeting.

“It was a pity that the three-hour meeting was only meant to ‘hear about’ candidates’ opinions,” Gou told reporters after the meeting.

Although the candidates were given a chance to express their opinions, there was no actual discussion, he said.

The party expected candidates to accept all existing primary regulations and would not accept any proposed changes unless all five agreed to them, he said, adding that he had not known about the prerequisites.

His proposal that the party include cellphone-based polls was not adopted because some of the candidates did not agree with it, he said.

A proposal by former minister without portfolio Kao Su-po (高思博), who represented Chu in the meeting, that all poll questions comparing KMT candidates against each other be removed was also denied, although he and Chang supported it, Gou said.

As a result, the polls are to be conducted according to existing regulations, with questions comparing the KMT candidates with each other and with potential presidential candidates outside the party weighted at 15 percent and 85 percent, he said.

Asked if he signed the KMT’s primary contract promising not to run for president if he loses the primary, Gou said he would leave that question to the party to answer.

When asked about the contract, Cheng said that the party is still collecting the contracts from all five candidates.

However, Chou said Gou is the only candidate who has not yet signed the contract.

Former legislator Sun Ta-chien (孫大千), who represented Han in the meeting, said the mayor respects the party’s decisions and is participating in the primary in a “passive manner.”

Asked if Han would attend the party’s upcoming platform presentations, Sun said he believes that Han has already made the best arrangements possible.

When asked about the meeting at an event in Kaohsiung, Han briefly said that he had asked Sun to represent him since he needed to attend meetings at the Kaohsiung City Government.

“The city government meeting is a higher priority for me,” Han said.

The platform presentations are to be held on June 25, June 29 and July 3 in Kaohsiung, Taichung and Taipei respectively, the KMT said.

While the first presentation is to cover issues related to the nation’s constitutional structure, foreign policy, cross-strait affairs and national security; the second is to focus on young people, society, culture and education; and the third is to focus on issues related to the economy, the environment and energy, it said.

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