Kuomintang chairman denies interest in Taiwan presidency

Wu says his only aim is to bring the KMT back to power

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KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (left) declares his lack of interest in a presidential bid as party Vice Chairman Hao Lung-bin looks on.

KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (left) declares his lack of interest in a presidential bid as party Vice Chairman Hao Lung-bin looks on. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said Wednesday he was not interested in running for president in the January 11, 2020 election.

The opposition party has been struggling to settle on a candidate, with several contenders or potential candidates recently canceling or postponing meetings with Wu to discuss the issue.

Kaohsiung City Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), who has embarked on a week-long trip to the United States, has received support from party militants but has so far claimed not to be interested.

Speaking at a regular KMT leadership meeting Wednesday, Wu, 71, said he did not have the will to run for president, and that his only aim as chairman was to bring the party back to power. Wu was vice president from 2012 to 2016, when the KMT suffered a heavy defeat, losing both the presidency and the majority at the Legislative Yuan to the Democratic Progressive Party.

Some KMT presidential hopefuls refused to meet Wu as they suspected a conflict of interest, accusing him of being both candidate and jury.

Former New Taipei City Mayor Eric Liluan Chu (朱立倫), who lost the 2016 presidential election, former Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and Taipei County ex-Magistrate Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) have declared bids for the KMT’s presidential candidacy.

Han is supposed to meet with Wu on April 18, after his return from the U.S., with some KMT members demanding there should be no primaries but the party should invite the Kaohsiung mayor to be nominated, reports said Wednesday.