Taiwan ex-legislative speaker turns down KMT vice-presidential post

Wang's refusal makes uniting KMT behind Han more difficult

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Former Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (left) turned down the KMT offer of a vice-presidential candidacy.

Former Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (left) turned down the KMT offer of a vice-presidential candidacy. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) on Friday (August 2) turned down an invitation to serve as Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu’s (韓國瑜) running mate, dealing a blow to the main opposition party’s attempts at unifying its supporters.

While the ruling Democratic Progressive Party has already named President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to run for a second term in the January 2020 election, the KMT has struggled with its internal divisions. Han defeated Foxconn Technology founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) by 17 percent in the primaries, but persistent reports have suggested the tycoon will mount an independent presidential bid.

Wang, who never took part in the primaries though he stayed in the KMT, told reporters Friday he had turned down Han’s offer and would “run for president until the end.” However, he did not provide details about how he would do that, the Central News Agency said.

Wang said Han had many candidates to choose from as his running mate, so he turned down the offer and asked the KMT nominee to find somebody else.

People within the party had been planning to bring the two men together for a meeting, even though there was no need for them to talk for the time being, he added.

The veteran KMT politician, who headed the Legislative Yuan for 17 years, was also reluctant to discuss whether the camp of Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), who is launching a new party next week, had contacted him.