The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) chairpersonship election has become even more competitive after former KMT legislator Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) yesterday became the sixth to join the race.
Pan, a six-term KMT legislator and a three-term Taipei city councilor, announced her candidacy at a news conference in Taipei, which was attended by her supporters and several KMT politicians, including former KMT chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄), former acting KMT chairperson Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠) and KMT Legislator Alicia Wang (王育敏).
Former minister of transportation and communications Yeh Kuang-shih (葉匡時), who denied rumors he would enter the race, was also at the news conference.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
“People asked me why I chose to step forward... I stepped forward because I believe only actual participation can allow changes to be made,” Pan said, adding that she did not think the competitiveness of the race would be detrimental to party solidarity.
Pan said that at a time when President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has destabilized society and caused cross-strait ties to deteriorate with its problematic policies, the KMT must help maintain checks and balances.
If elected, Pan said she plans to launch a reform movement within the KMT, as the party is losing supporters and facing its most dire predicament since its establishment.
She said she would also ensure that the KMT nominates candidates in all electoral districts in next year’s local polls, even in traditionally challenging ones.
Shrugging off speculation that her candidacy is aimed at jeopardizing KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu’s (洪秀柱) chances of winning, Pan said she had spoken to all senior party members — including Hung — before announcing her candidacy.
“My candidacy has been dogged by conspiracy theories ... but my main goal is simply to bring home all KMT members who have lost contact with the party. It [joining the election] was a decision made after thorough consideration,” Pan said.
The other five contenders in the May 20 election are Hung, KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), former vice president Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), former KMT vice chairman Steve Chan (詹啟賢) and former Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co general manager Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜).
Official candidacy registration is to begin on April 17 and each prospective candidate is required to collect the signatures of at least 3 percent of KMT members.
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