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KMT's Chang Ya-chung rumored to be considering running for mayor of Taiwan's Kaohsiung

Hong Kong media trigger speculation KMT could replay Han Kuo-yu strategy to win Kaohsiung

Chang Ya-chung waves to supporters from the window of a car.

Chang Ya-chung waves to supporters from the window of a car. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Hong Kong media have speculated the Kuomingtang’s (KMT) Chang Ya-chung (張亞中) may run as the party’s candidate in next year’s election for Kaohsiung mayor, noting his broad appeal in the city mirrors that of previous populist candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜).

Despite this suggestion, the party leadership is thought to favor former Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Lee Si-chuan (李四川), according to a China Times report.

Now that the KMT, Taiwan's main opposition party, elected Eric Chu (朱立倫) as its new chairperson on Saturday (Sept. 25), attention has turned toward what the future may hold for Chang Ya-chung, who came a close second in the race.

Lee is the de facto leader among the party’s local groups in Kaohsiung and could garner more support among the lower-level KMT politicians in the area, per reports.

Yet according to the final vote tally, Chu only led Chang by 771 votes in Kaohsiung, despite Lee’s hard efforts to shore up support for Chu among the local groups he supposedly holds sway over.

Chang’s confrontational style and bold pro-unification rhetoric is winning support among "deep blue" supporters, which will likely cause the party to diverge over their preferred candidate for Kaohsiung mayor, per the China Times.

Despite Chu’s calls for his party members to unite on Saturday evening, the gaps between factions within the KMT are likely to grow and cause a deep schism, according to some legislators of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Asked what he would make of Chang as a potential opponent in next year’s election, Kaohsiung Mayor and DPP member Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said he "has no comment."

Updated : 2021-12-02 01:24 GMT+08:00