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Legislative speaker hints at not running in 2016 presidential race

Legislative speaker hints at not running in 2016 presidential race

Taipei, May 15 (CNA) Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (???) indicated Friday that he will not seek his party's nomination to run for president in 2016, saying he has been unable to convince people he is "capable of shouldering big responsibilities." In a hastily arranged press conference, Wang did not say explicitly that he would not register for the Kuomintang's (KMT's) presidential primary or not accept efforts to recruit him to run. In fact, he never mentioned the word "presidential" election in his statement. But Wang said that while he has heard calls for him to stand in the election, he has not been able to "fully convince people that I can shoulder great responsibilities and meet the expectations from all sides," for which he apologized. Wang said he wanted to become a "seed of unity" for the next generation, adding that the ruling party needed to first stay unified to prevent society from continuing to be torn up by political divisions. He left the venue after reading his statement without taking questions on whether or not he would pick up a registration form for the party's presidential primary by the May 16 deadline. The 74-year-old has been president of the Legislative Yuan since 1999. The KMT had yet to respond to Wang's statement as of Friday afternoon. With Wang not likely to register for the primary, and KMT Chairman Eric Chu (???) and Vice President Wu Den-yih (???) saying they would not run, speculation has emerged that the KMT might delay its nomination process or resort to drafting a presidential candidate. Polls have suggested that Chu and Wang would be the only KMT figures who would even be competitive against the Democratic Progressive Party's nominee and strong favorite, Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (???), in the race. A KMT source said, however, that the party will follow through with its primary system. "The primary process has kicked off, and the candidate selected through the system will be nominated," the source said. According to the party's presidential and vice presidential nomination regulations, if only one aspirant registers, opinion polls will be conducted to gauge support for the candidate. If the candidate fails to gain 30 percent support in two opinion polls, the individual will not be nominated. In a race with at least two aspirants, the nominee will be decided based on KMT member votes (accounting for 30 percent of the result) and public opinion polls (70 percent). If none of the candidates gain at least 30 percent support, or the top two finishers are separated by no more than 3 points, a coordination process will kick in. Should efforts to reach a consensus on a candidate fail, another round of KMT member voting and polls will take place within three weeks to decide who will emerge as the nominee. To date, only Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (???), former Health Minister Yaung Chih-liang (???), and Huang Po-shou (???), the chief secretary of Dayuan Township in Taoyuan County, have picked up a registration form. According to the KMT's primary schedule, the nominee will be finalized in mid-July. Meanwhile, the DPP's Tsai said on the outlying island of Penghu that the party will conduct its campaign at its scheduled pace. (By Claudia Liu, Jay Chen and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-28 22:23 GMT+08:00