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Hung Hsiu-chu qualifies for KMT presidential primary (update)

Hung Hsiu-chu qualifies for KMT presidential primary (update)

Taipei, May 25 (CNA) Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (???) emerged on Monday as the ruling Kuomintang's only candidate qualified to run in the party's presidential primary after obtaining the necessary number of endorsements from party members. A KMT screening committee announced Monday that Hung had obtained 35,210 valid endorsements from registered party members, far surpassing the 15,000 threshold. The only other candidate seeking to qualify for the presidential primary, former Health Minister Yaung Chih-liang (???), obtained only 5,234 valid signatures and did not meet the requirement, the screening committee said. Hung submitted more than 60,000 signatures and Yaung more than 30,000, but many of the endorsements were disqualified for varying reasons, the committee said. According to the KMT's primary regulations, Hung will now face a public opinion poll in the second phase of the primary process, and will be required to get at least 30 percent support. The KMT has yet to decide how it will conduct the poll, but one of the likely options is to ask respondents to choose between Hung and Democratic Progressive Party chairwoman and presidential nominee Tsai Ing-wen, and see how Hung fares. Should Hung fall short of the 30 percent threshold, the party may opt to draft a candidate to run. After learning that she had qualified for the primary, Hung said she hoped the party would conduct the poll soon because it would then still have time to draft a candidate were she to fall short of the 30 percent requirement. Hung advocated a poll sooner rather than later even though delaying the poll would give her more time to build up the needed support, but she said she would do her utmost to seek the party's presidential nomination however the process plays out. In a recent poll conducted by Taiwan Thinktank, Hung had only 21.5 percent support against 63.6 percent for Tsai Ing-wen. Up to now, the only KMT candidates who seem at least somewhat competitive with Tsai in opinion polls -- KMT Chairman Eric Chu and Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng -- have indicated they will not run in the 2016 election. The party is the heavy underdog heading into the 2016 election season, hurt by a disastrous showing in local government elections in November 2014 and the dismal support ratings of the KMT administration of President Ma Ying-jeou, which have been around 20 percent. (By Claudia Liu, Tseng Ying-yu and Evelyn Kao)


Updated : 2021-09-21 07:30 GMT+08:00