Thu, Nov 21, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Chang slams KMT at-large choices

AGAINST GOOD CONSCIENCE:The list ‘lacks diversity and could make the elections more difficult for district legislative candidates,’ former premier Simon Chang said

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) vice presidential candidate Simon Chang speaks to the reporters before a conference in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Chen Yun, Taipei Times

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday said that it would only nominate 31 legislator-at-large candidates after two more of its candidates withdrew from contention, even though KMT vice presidential candidate Simon Chang (張善政) reiterated concern over the quality of the nominees in a Facebook post.

The list “lacks diversity and could make the elections more difficult for district legislative candidates,” the former premier wrote, adding that he could not “in good conscience” endorse the list.

However, Simon Chang urged people to vote for Han and KMT district legislators even if they might be disappointed by the at-large nominees.

“As for the legislator-at-large vote, do whatever you feel like doing — after all, we really cannot in good conscience endorse that list,” he added in his Facebook post.

The KMT Central Standing Committee on Wednesday last week approved a 34-person list of at-large nominees for the Jan. 11 elections.

Following criticism from within the party, former KMT legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) — initially No. 8 on the list — on Friday last week said he was withdrawing.

He was replaced by former Mainland Affairs Council deputy minister Chang Hsien-yao (張顯耀), but the next day the KMT Central Committee vetoed his nomination.

On Tuesday, Central Standing Committee member Fan Cheng-lien (范成連), listed at No. 19 on the list, announced that he would give up the nomination due to work in China.

Chinese Alliance for Cross-strait Marriages and Family president Shih Hsueh-yen (史雪燕), listed at No. 30, yesterday lost her nomination after she failed to pay a deposit of NT$200,000 before the deadline, sources said.

KMT Culture and Communications Committee director-general Cheng Mei-hua (程美華) confirmed that at yesterday’s meeting of the Central Standing Committee, new at-large candidates were not nominated to fill the vacated spots.

The KMT would only nominate 31 at-large candidates for the elections, with original nominees moving up to fill in the gaps, although to ensure a gender balance, the order of those from No. 16 and up might still be changed, she said.

The at-large nominees are to visit the Central Election Commission at 10:30am today to register for the elections, the party said.

Shortly before yesterday’s Central Standing Committee meeting, KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) told reporters that as there were vacancies on the list, the party should nominate more candidates who meet members’ expectations.

The KMT needs more legislators-at-large who can represent the younger generation and workers, he said.

“This would help the party in the elections,” he added.

Hau on Sunday had criticized the list for failing to meet public expectations and urged the KMT to readjust the list the following day, but his suggestion was not adopted.

Additional reporting by CNA

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