Candidates for chairmanship of Taiwan's KMT seek party reset

Ex-President Ma, former New Taipei Mayor Chu, Foxconn founder Gou also potential candidates for KMT leadership

Hau (left), Chang (second from left), Ma (second from right), Guo (right) 


Hau (left), Chang (second from left), Ma (second from right), Guo (right)    (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Three KMT members, Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), Chang Ya-chung (張亞中), and Wu Zhi-chang (武之璋), have announced bids to become the party's next chairman with the urge to reset after its landslide defeat in the 2020 presidential election.

Former KMT Deputy Chairman Hau is running on his ability to reform the party and has begun increasing his visibility in the media. In a statement posted on Facebook Jan. 20, he emphasized that the mission for the next KMT leader is to re-establish the party's power structure and cultivate young talents for future elections rather than using the position as a stepping stone for a presidential run in 2024.

Hau also promised to guarantee the KMT's elected officials under 40 years old to represent a certain portion in the Central Standing Committee (CSS) and let young professionals hold key roles when running the party. However, some critics doubted he could make such changes, as he watched the party sink when he was the Deputy Chairman.

On the other hand, senior KMT member Chang blasted the party in a public letter for what he sees as an unreasonable threshold for the chairman candidates. He suggested that opportunities should be available to all party members and that a special committee should review the qualifications of candidates instead of relying on endorsements.

He also suggested using the two-round system to choose a leader with majority support. Under the current restrictions, which favor power holders in the party, even Chang has little chance of becoming a legitimate candidate.

Former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), former New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫), and former Taipei mayoral candidate Sean Lien (連勝文) are also possible competitors. However, a group of CSS members believes former party member and Foxconn founder Terry Guo (郭台銘) would be the one to breathe new life into the party, reported CNA.

This group reckons that the only way for the KMT to reform is to find a leader who is outside the core of the party's power structure. The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) adopted the same approach in finding President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) to lead the party after its rout in the 2008 presidential election.

Except for Lien, none of the other candidates mentioned have confirmed their intention to join the competition and are busy connecting with Taiwanese netizens for the upcoming Lunar New Year. A video of Ma hopping on a scooter in Taipei to deliver food along with spring couplets has racked up 1.9 million views in two days.

Updated : 2021-01-17 08:05 GMT+08:00