It is time to say goodbye to the “Han wave,” Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus whip Lin Wei-chou (林為洲) said yesterday, following the party’s defeat in the Kaohsiung mayoral by-election on Saturday.
The “Han wave” refers to former Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) sudden rise in popularity during the 2018 nine-in-one elections.
Lin, chief executive of the KMT’s Policy Committee, made the comment on Facebook early in the morning, just hours after former vice premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) of the Democratic Progressive Party won the by-election to fill the vacancy left by Han, who was removed from office after a recall vote on June 6.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
“Treat it [the Han wave] as a legend,” Lin wrote, adding that the KMT should make changes and work hard to regain the public’s trust.
In an interview later in the day, Lin said Saturday’s loss was a continuation of the party’s defeat in the Jan. 11 presidential and legislative elections.
The “Han wave” had been the KMT mainstream, but that was no longer the case, he said.
The KMT might have to recognize the reality that it can no longer rely on the “Han wave,” which, while it might have helped the party pick up some votes on Saturday, did not have a major effect, he said.
The KMT could not even hold on to its base, proof that the “Han wave” could no longer be seen as the KMT’s “savior,” Lin said.
However, former New Taipei City mayor and KMT chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫), when asked about Lin’s remarks, told reporters that the KMT should continue to expand its “spectrum” and that “any voice is an important force.”
The KMT should gather various forces, and embrace mainstream public opinion and values, he said.
The KMT has suffered many defeats since the beginning of the year and it must reflect deeply, as only through reform and reflection can the party get back on its feet, the veteran politician said.
Reform is painful and reflection is “cruel,” but the KMT must not seek comfort from those who think alike, Chu added.
Asked about widespread speculation that he plans to run for KMT chairperson, Chu said now was not the time to be discussing “personnel issues.”
The public does not want to see the KMT sink into disputes and infighting, he said.
Since the beginning of the year he has insisted that reforming and transforming the party is more important than the next chairperson election, Chu added.
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