The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) must actively enlist the support of young voters if it is to win the elections next year or in 2024, KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) said yesterday as the party announced a series of youth programs.
In the presidential and legislative elections on Jan. 11 last year, the KMT received about 2 million to 3 million fewer votes than the Democratic Progressive Party from voters under 40, Chiang told a news conference in Taipei, citing data.
“This is a huge gap,” said Chiang, who was elected party chairman in a by-election on March 7 last year to replace former KMT chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義).
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
If the KMT is to return to power, whether in the local elections next year or the general elections in 2024, it must work to gain the support of young people, Chiang said.
After a year of youth-related activities, the KMT has seen some gains, although there is still work to be done, he said.
More than 3,500 people under 40 have registered to become members of the KMT in the past year, he said.
In the lead-up to last year’s chairperson by-election, there were only about 9,000 official members under the age of 40, he said.
Polls have shown a “significant” increase over the past year in the approval rating of the party among young respondents, he added.
“From national policies to municipal issues, we hope to bring the voices of young people into the KMT and promote dialogue” with them, Chiang said.
The KMT would “welcome with open arms” young talent who are willing to take part in public and party affairs, he said.
The KMT Department of Youth Affairs is to host two-day camps in different parts of the nation over several weekends, the department said.
The first session is to take place in Taipei on March 20 and 21, and would focus on housing justice, it said, adding that 30 people are expected to attend.
Other sessions would focus on areas including culture, the environment, agriculture, labor rights and tourism, it said, adding that each session would feature collaborations with different non-governmental organizations.
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