Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday said that the selection of the party’s legislator-at-large nominees had never been “more fair and transparent,” although fellow party members continued to criticize it.
The candidates were selected by a seven-person review panel and ranked by the KMT Central Standing Committee, before the KMT Central Committee confirmed them on Saturday, Wu said on the sidelines of a rally for KMT Legislator Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀) in Taipei.
“It was a very meticulous process,” Wu said. “It has never been more fair and transparent.”
The KMT Central Standing Committee on Wednesday last week passed a 34-person list of legislator-at-large nominees, which placed Wu 10th and former KMT legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) eighth.
Following criticism from within the party, the committee revised the list at a provisional meeting on Friday, moving Wu to 14th and replacing Chiu with former Mainland Affairs Council deputy minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀), who was placed 17th.
At Saturday’s KMT central representative meeting, all of the nominations were confirmed, except for Chang.
Speaking about his place on the list, Wu yesterday said that as a legislator he could better assist with the implementation of the policies of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), the KMT’s presidential candidate, if he wins January’s presidential election.
“To be honest, every KMT chairperson has nominated themselves as the party’s presidential candidate, without a single exception,” Wu said.
He has given up running for president, because he has been a premier and a vice president, Wu said.
Asked about the 58 Central Committee members who voted against his nomination on Saturday, Wu said he still had 127 members who voted for him.
“It was a lot of votes and among the highest of all,” he said.
Asked if the list has led to a low morale within the party, Wu said it has not.
Some members might be unhappy or upset because they were ranked lower than they had hoped or were excluded from the list, but it is “inevitable,” he said.
However, anger and disappointment over the list yesterday continued to brew among party members.
The list does not reflect the wishes of the party’s grassroots members or meet the public’s expectations, KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said on the sidelines of the event. “That is a fact beyond dispute.”
As the matter could affect the KMT’s presidential and overall legislative elections, the party should revise its list according to people’s expectations by today, he said.
Meanwhile, former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) yesterday said that “everyone I know responded to the nominee list with complaints and curses.”
However, he still hopes people will vote for the KMT after venting their anger, he added.
Late on Saturday night, Han also criticized the list.
The list is “far from meeting the public’s expectations,” as well as his own expectations of a younger and more diverse legislative team, Han wrote on Facebook.
“I must reiterate that reform is our only path,” he said. “For the KMT, as well as Taiwan, if we refuse reform, we will only come to a dead end.”
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