Kaohsiung Mayor says not participating in KMT’s Taiwan presidential primaries

Han leaves door open to other 'arrangements' by KMT leadership

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Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (right) visited KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih Tuesday April 30 (photo courtesy of KMT).

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (right) visited KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih Tuesday April 30 (photo courtesy of KMT). (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Following his long-awaited meeting with Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) Tuesday (April 30), Kaohsiung City Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) said he would not participate in any primaries to select a presidential nominee, but would “respect” any “arrangement” by the main opposition party.

The meeting, which was postponed from last month when Han paid a visit to the United States, had been expected to result in a clear message whether Han wanted to run in the January 11, 2020 presidential elections or not. He has been riding high in the opinion polls, but several other leading figures, including Foxconn Technology Group Chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘), have declared bids to become the KMT nominee.

Wu and Han spoke for 30 minutes, the Central News Agency reported, but the mayor of Kaohsiung told reporters at a news conference afterward that he was “bearing the expectations of the citizens of Kaohsiung on his shoulders” and could therefore not participate in any KMT primaries.

If the opposition party leadership “needed Han Kuo-yu to take part in any kind of arrangement,” including polls, he was going to respect that opinion, he told reporters.

In the past, Han has said before that he would not take part in primaries, leading to his supporters to ask the party leadership to include him in opinion polls to determine the presidential nominee all the same.

The KMT still has to come up with a procedure for selecting its nominee. Either the choice will rely entirely on opinion polls, or for 70 percent on polls and 30 percent on a vote by party members, reports said.