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KMT rejects Sanlih debate

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Upon accepting the function of Kuomintang presidential campaign office chief Friday, Jason Hu said the party would not take part in a live debate organized by Sanlih E-Television Co., Ltd.
The KMT and the Democratic Progressive Party have been arguing for days about which televised debate should come first, the one by Sanlih or one to be organized by a consortium of six other news organizations.
DPP Chairwoman and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen said she had received an invitation from Sanlih months ago, which meant she would accept their right to organize the first live televised debate of the campaign for the January 16 election.
However, the KMT has given priority to a bid to be hosted by the Public Television Service in cooperation with the Central News Agency and four Chinese-language newspapers, the Apple Daily, Liberty Times, United Daily News and China Times.
KMT Chairman and presidential candidate Eric Liluan Chu presented Hu Friday morning as the chairman of his campaign office. The former mayor of Taichung City also serves as vice chairman of the Want Want China Times Group, the owner of one of the newspapers in the group backing the PTS debate.
Hu told the news conference he hoped that debates could be successfully organized in order not to disappoint the public, but he also emphasized that they should be held by the PTS group.
Following his remarks, the DPP accused the Chu camp of going back on its word because the three parties, including candidate James Soong’s People First Party, had agreed last August to Sanlih’s request to stage a debate.
The KMT was trying to delay preparations for the debates and to avoid review by the public, DPP spokesman Juan Chao-hsiung said. He said the opposition party had been clear in its intentions, agreeing to the debates on a “first come, first served” basis.
Juan also accused PTS of messing up the process by recently rescheduling planned meetings about the debate issue. Earlier in the week, it suddenly timed a meeting for the same afternoon as Sanlih, making it impossible for the DPP to attend, he said.


Updated : 2021-09-28 19:48 GMT+08:00