Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Central Advisory Committee member Chao Shou-po (趙守博) yesterday urged Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) to quit drinking until the end of next year’s presidential election.
The performance and behavior of Han, who the KMT on Sunday officially nominated as its presidential candidate, would be under close scrutiny, Chao said at the committee’s annual meeting at the KMT’s headquarters yesterday.
The Democratic Progressive Party is determined to come out ahead in the presidential and legislative elections and to have Han recalled as mayor by Kaohsiung residents, Chao said, adding that it is Han’s responsibility to ensure that none of those things happen.
Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times
While the KMT should assist Han in the process, the mayor must work hard and hold himself to a high standard, he said.
Running for president is different from running for mayor, or being the general manager of Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing, Chao said, referring to Han’s post before he was appointed chairman of the KMT’s Kaohsiung chapter ahead of last year’s local elections.
The KMT must help Han build a strong campaign team and improve his knowledge about national policies, foreign affairs, cross-strait relations and economic issues, he said.
Familiarity with national affairs is necessary, as Han must eventually debate President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who is running for re-election, Chao said.
“Having slogans is not good enough,” as they only work at rallies, Chao added.
Han must also improve his city government team, Chao said, adding that Han must perform his mayoral duties well, especially as the typhoon season nears.
As a presidential candidate, Han must prepare for media scrutiny of every word and action, wisely handling any controversial issues that pop up, he said.
Han should be transparent about any issues with drinking alcohol, Chao said, citing reports about the mayor’s alleged drinking problem.
“Han should quit drinking from now until the end of the presidential election,” he said. “What could be so difficult about quitting drinking?”
If Han vowed to quit drinking, it would improve the public’s impression of him, he added.
To ensure that the KMT wins next year’s elections and to keep Han from being recalled, KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) should advise Han to keep his fans under control, Chao said.
Han’s fans are loyal and passionate, but if they do not stop with their escapades, they might be alienated from the KMT and even become enemies of the party, which the KMT cannot afford, Chao added.
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