Tue, Jun 25, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Han’s weekly rallies ‘excessive’ for primary: Eric Chu

By Lin Liang-sheng and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu gestures during an interview at the Pop Radio studio in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

Former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), who is vying for the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) presidential nomination, yesterday said weekly rallies by fellow candidate Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) are “excessive” for the primary phase.

Chu made the remark during an interview on Pop Radio.

The latest Taiwanese Public Opinion Foundation poll has been heartening to his campaign, as it placed him second in the KMT race behind Han, Chu said.

However, the KMT should be alarmed that the same poll indicated that its top two runners — Han and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) — are trailing President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), despite the latter’s unpopularity, Chu said.

“I hope the winner of the primary will not turn out to be a general-election loser,” he said, adding that the party’s primary has been “the longest and the most mystifying” of his career.

The process had been rough on Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), who took unfair hits, he said, adding that the party must find a way to unite internally to prevail next year, he said.

Tsai deserves respect for being a resilient opponent whose support ratings have increased by leaps and bounds, he said.

“The KMT cannot overlook this, and the talk about voting for nobody but Han is harmful,” Chu said.

The radio host said Han’s weekly rallies, which had been dubbed the “Han Kuang exercises” for their fanfare, did not seem to be having an effect on the polls.

The host was referring to Taiwan’s annual Han Kuang military exercises.

Chu said he had not heard about the reference, but added that the weekly rallies have been excessive.

“As a member of the KMT and an old friend of Han’s, I would suggest that he puts a reasonable limit on the rallies,” Chu said. “Rallies are beneficial until they are overdone, then they waste money, tire your people out and cause division.”

Regarding a televised platform address the KMT has prepared for the candidates today, Chu said he is prepared to talk about policy, but criticized its format.

“Informing the candidates about the 12 questions beforehand feels like they are worried somebody will be making gaffes,” he said. “This is basically an 18-minute speech contest, which is awkward for stump speeches.”

“By omitting debate, candidates could avoid saying what they really think and get away with saying things that cannot be contested or fact-checked,” he said. “I have insisted on having a debate.”

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