Taiwan's KMT slammed for naming pro-unification ex-lawmaker on legislator-at-large list

The KMT's slate of candidates has drawn a lot of criticism for being old, too China-leaning, and too conservative

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Former legislator Chiu Yi

Former legislator Chiu Yi (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The opposition Kuomintang (KMT) has decided its list of at-large legislative candidates but has drawn the ire of its fellow members for nominating the pro-unification former legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅).

The nominees are too China-leaning, and too conservative. KMT presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu's (韓國瑜) running mate, Simon Chang (張善政) told listeners in a radio interview on Thursday (Nov. 14).

On the top-16 lineup, former Central Police University professor Yeh Yu-lan (葉毓蘭) heads the list. Yeh drew media attention and criticism for supporting Hong Kong police's use of force and describing the protesting students as "ruthless thugs" in a Facebook post dated Oct. 2, 2019.

Fourth place on the list is retired lieutenant general Wu Sz-huai, (吳斯懷), an activist opposing pension reform. Wu is best known for his visit to China in 2016 when he was caught on camera listening to Xi Jinping's speech at an event.

However, the most controversial figure on the list is Chiu Yi, a pro-unification commentator. He served as a legislator representing the KMT between 2001 and 2012, and was an outspoken political talk show guest after not being re-elected.

In a recent Weibo post, Chiu wrote a congratulatory message on China's 70th anniversary, saying he was "deeply touched after watching China's magnificent National Day military parade and hearing Xi's national speech." He concluded by saying that he is "proud of being a Chinese" and "China-Taiwan reunification is inevitable."

Another controversial person on the list is KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), who is ranked in 10th place out of 34. This is considered to be unfair, as it could help Wu secure a comfortable win.

After the list was made public, the KMT was reportedly flooded with complaints from KMT supporters. People familiar with the matter told UP Media the list could be changed on Friday after an interim Central Standing Committee.

On Jan. 11, 2019, voters will be able to cast ballots for a presidential ticket, a candidate for a local legislative seat, and a political party list of at-large legislative candidates decided by proportional representation.