Thu, Jul 04, 2019 - Page 3 News List

KMT reiterates primary poll to be fair, transparent

FRAUD FEARS:The poll would involve people randomly selected by computers and a new person would be picked if a designated respondent cannot be found, the KMT said

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wang Jin-pyng holds a news conference in Taipei yesterday concerning the conduct of the KMTs presidential primary.

Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday reiterated that its presidential primary poll would be conducted in a fair and transparent manner, after KMT Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) expressed concern that the poll could be rigged.

Due partly to the way the poll is designed, the primary candidates’ campaign teams are worried that they could be “gotten rid of,” Wang said in a statement yesterday.

The former legislative speaker last month withdrew from the party’s primary, but said that his plan to run for president remains unchanged.

According to the rules set down by the KMT, the poll would target selected individuals in a household and those who cannot be reached would be replaced with newly selected ones, he said.

The method, possibly unfamiliar to many respondents, coupled with the fact that the poll would take seven days, have heightened the fear that the poll could be rigged, Wang said.

With the margin between the first and second places likely to be 3 to 5 percentage points, the Democratic Progressive Party could manipulate the poll and help the “easier-to-beat” candidate win, he said.

The KMT should clear any doubts about the polling method and prepare strategies to counter possible manipulation by other political parties, he said.

Four years ago, the party nominated Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) as its presidential candidate only to replace her later, Wang said, adding that it must be careful this time.

In response, KMT poll panel convener Huang Teh-fu (黃德福) said: “Everything will be conducted based on the principles of fairness and transparency.”

Poll respondents would be randomly selected from a pool of 6,446,977 landline telephone numbers in the Chunghwa Telecom database on Saturday in the presence of the candidates’ representatives, Huang said.

A total of 400,000 numbers would be selected and allotted to five polling companies, he said, adding that companies would run a three-hour computer check to ensure that the same number does not come up twice.

Each company would have a pool of 80,000 numbers to ensure that they can collect 3,000 valid samples, Huang said.

For each number, a computer would randomly select two people to be polled, Huang added.

If the first person cannot be reached, the interviewer would ask to speak with the second selected person in the household, he said.

If the second person is also unavailable, they would call later in the day to try to reach the first one, he added.

If the first one is still unavailable, they would then give up the sample and call another number, Huang said.

To ensure fairness, the order in which candidates appear in questions would also be randomly determined by a computer, he said.

Poll samples collected from Monday to July 14 would be weighted and averaged, then announced on July 15, he said.

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