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Two KMT presidential hopefuls prepare to register for primary

Two KMT presidential hopefuls prepare to register for primary

Taipei, May 16 (CNA) Two Kuomintang members, who are seeking the party's nomination for the 2016 presidential election, said Saturday they will register for the primary in the next two days. Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (???) and former Health Minister Yaung Chih-liang (???) were two of the three hopefuls who showed up to collect KMT registration forms before the Saturday 4 p.m. deadline. Hung said she will go to the party's headquarters Sunday to register for the presidential primary and submit a petition of support signed by party members. Hung said she has obtained more than 50,000 signatures on the petition and expects to gain 60,000 by Sunday, well over the party's minimum requirement of 15,000. Yaung also said that the number of signatures he has collected is way past the minimum and he will hand in his petition May 18. Meanwhile, Both Hung and Yaung supported KMT Chairman Eric Chu's (???) position on the issue of his candidacy, which he reiterated earlier that day, saying that he will not compete in the 2016 presidential election. There have been strong calls in the KMT for Chu to run for president as he is seen as his party's best chance of standing up against Democratic Progressive Party Chairwoman and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (???). At a press conference Saturday, Chu said that he has to honor his promise to serve out his four-year term as New Taipei mayor, a pledge that he made during the local government election campaign last year. He also said he wants to promote true solidarity within the party. Hung said Chu had given her the assurance that the primary will be conducted seriously. "Whether one supports (Legislative Speaker) Wang Jin-pyng (???) or (President) Ma Ying-jeou (???) or wants Eric Chu to step forward, one must put aside one's personal views and rally behind the candidate who wins the primary," she said. Yaung also supported Chu's remarks, saying that to achieve true solidarity, the KMT must adhere to the principles of openness and transparency that would allow the participation of everyone. With Chu firmly closing the door on any hopes of his entry into the presidential race, there are now no KMT aspirants who are considered party heavyweights. If there is no clear winner in the KMT primary, the party will resort to a draft, which will leave no room for its heavyweights to decline, according to a KMT source. 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 at least 30 percent support in two opinion polls, that 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. (By Lee Shu-hua, Claudia Liu and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-17 19:20 GMT+08:00