The presidential primaries of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) were ridiculous, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday, adding that Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) was able to become the KMT’s presidential candidate because of DPP supporters.
Several local news outlets yesterday reported a rumor that the KMT has discussed the possibility of replacing Han, because his approval rating has been rapidly slipping in opinion polls.
“I’m glad I’m not a member of the KMT, because this is a really difficult problem,” Ko said when asked about the rumor, adding that it is unlikely that Han would be replaced by another candidate.
Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times
“In the KMT’s presidential primary, Han got selected because of the DPP,” he said.
Ko said he believes that many DPP members deliberately pretended to support Han in the opinion polls.
President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) approval rating even fell below 20 percent in the KMT’s poll, which was the reason the KMT decided on who it did, he added.
A similar tactic must have been used by pan-blue supporters when the DPP conducted its poll, highlighting how “absolutely ridiculous” the two primaries were, as well as how “mischievous” Taiwanese can be, Ko said.
Asked about the protests in Hong Kong, Ko said: “I’ve always said that having a democratic and free Taiwan is not a bad thing for China, meaning that they at least have something to refer to, to see how Taiwan went through democratization.”
Taiwan’s democratization is considered very successful, as it only became democratized in the past 30 years, he said, adding that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) made his contribution to Taiwan by allowing peaceful democratization.
China should refer to Taiwan’s history of democratization, sincerely face Hong Kongers’ resentment and think carefully about how to handle it, because if conflicts continue, it might end up like the Tiananmen Square Massacre, he said.
If Beijing uses force to put down the protests in Hong Kong, like it did in Tiananmen Square, China would face economic sanctions from the US and European countries, Ko added.
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