Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) and former KMT vice chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday presented their platforms as candidates in the party’s chairperson by-election to be held on March 7.
Speaking before the presentations began at KMT headquarters in Taipei, KMT Acting Chairman Lin Rong-te (林榮德) called the by-election “the most important step in the party’s push for reform.”
“No matter which of the two of us serves as the chairman of the KMT, we will face difficult reforms,” Chiang said. “The KMT has reached an important moment when reform cannot be avoided.”
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
Chiang said the party’s defeats in the 2016 and this year’s elections showed that it needs to “redesign and adjust” aspects such as its core values, policies and its nomination process.
Among the proposals he has made are the creation of an 11-member decisionmaking group within the party that would “respond quickly to public opinion”; better use of online tools to communicate with the public; and a digitization of the services the party provides to its members.
Chiang also called for a series of discussions on the party’s values and policies, including its policy on cross-strait relations.
Meanwhile, Hau attributed the party’s losses in the Jan. 11 elections to “selfishness” and a “lack of unity.”
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and former premier William Lai (賴清德) ran on the same ticket after competing in the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential primary, he said, adding: “This is an example we must learn from.”
“The KMT’s core philosophy is to defend the Republic of China [ROC] and oppose Taiwan’s independence,” Hau said, adding that he would follow that philosophy.
In his speech, Hau also addressed calls for older members of the KMT to hand over the party’s leadership to the younger generation, saying that a person’s attitude, ability and experience — rather than age — determine whether they are competent.
During the question-and-answer portion of the presentations, reporters asked Chiang whether he plans to run in the 2022 local elections or the 2024 national elections.
Chiang said that his focus at the moment is on serving the public in his capacity as a lawmaker and leading the KMT’s reform if he is elected next month.
If elected, his term as chairman would end on May 20 next year, he said, adding: “After 2021, I do not know whether I will have an opportunity to perform other duties.”
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