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KMT should back outsider for president: Wang

KMT should back outsider for president: Wang

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Kuomintang should venture outside its ranks to seek a presidential candidate, following the example of the opposition with Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je, former Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien said Saturday.
While on the Democratic Progressive Party side, Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen is virtually certain to be the candidate in the January 16 presidential election, the KMT has been troubled by the lack of obvious contender.
While new KMT Chairman Eric Liluan Chu is the most popular choice according to opinion polls, he has repeatedly said he wanted to sit out his term as mayor of New Taipei City, which ends in 2018.
Prominent KMT members who have been named by the media as likely to try and run for president include Vice President Wu Den-yih, Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng and his deputy Hung Hsiu-chu, and former Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin.
In an op-ed piece published by the Chinese-language China Times Saturday, former Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien suggested the ruling party should think outside the box and find a candidate not usually associated with its leadership.
He specifically recommended business leaders as the most suitable candidates because of their management talents and experience.
The KMT should follow the Ko Wen-je model, he said, in a reference to the victory of the independent candidate for mayor of Taipei City last November. While insisting on his independence and on his status as a political novice, Ko nevertheless still participated in a primary organized by the DPP, in which he defeated a party legislator who had come out on top in a race against other DPP rivals.
Ko won widespread public support through his outspoken opinions and the feeling that he represented the common people instead of the elite.
Wang said the KMT should support an independent, young, talented outsider and not choose a candidate of its own. Several potential contenders should be contrasted with Tsai and with a likely KMT candidate in opinion polls to see who would be the best performer, Wang suggested.
The public would appreciate such a method because it would show the KMT put the interests of the country above those of the party, said the outspoken former Control Yuan chief and co-founder of the New Party.
KMT Secretary General Lee Shu-chuan said Saturday that the party’s presidential selection process would start in early April and probably be completed in June. He added that the timing would be the same as on previous occasions, including in the 2008 and 2012 elections.
Responding to Wang’s advice, Lee said that the ruling party had its own clear rules for selecting a presidential candidate.
Chu said he welcomed the advice of his predecessors and party elders, and added that talented people who shared the same ideals as the KMT were welcome to submit their candidacy for the legislative and presidential elections.


Updated : 2021-09-25 08:57 GMT+08:00