TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Media personality Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康) said Friday (Feb. 5) that Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) is planning to run for re-election this summer but insisted he had not promised to support him.
Jaw, who left the KMT in 1993 to found the New Party, reportedly wants to run for party leader himself. An eventual presidential bid in 2024 has been hinted at by the media.
Speaking to reporters Friday, Jaw denied that Chiang had asked for and received his support for a re-election bid. The incumbent KMT leader had confirmed he wanted to serve a second turn, Jaw said, adding that even if he himself qualifies as a candidate, he would not necessarily challenge Chiang, CNA reported.
Jaw’s problem has been that under KMT rules, he does not qualify to run for chairman of the main opposition party. The regulations specify that only someone who has served as a member of the Central Standing Committee or the Central Advisory Committee (CAC) can stand for party leader.
Chiang said he will appoint Jaw to the CAC after the Feb. 10-16 Lunar New Year holiday. The party is expected to draw up election regulations and hold a leadership race later in the year.
After co-founding the New Party in 1993, Jaw ran for mayor of Taipei the following year. He lost the race to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) candidate Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) while beating the KMT candidate.
Chen went on to win the presidential elections in 2000 and 2004. The New Party withered away, and Jaw began focusing on a career as a talk show host and broadcaster.