TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang (KMT) said on Wednesday (March 22) it will choose its 2024 presidential candidate through a consensus meeting.
That means the KMT will bypass its traditional party primary to select its candidate.
Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) announced the decision at a KMT Central Standing Committee meeting, saying over the past few months the party has sought opinions from local KMT leaders and legislators regarding the nomination method. Chu believes a consensus pick for the presidency can unite the party and avoid potential controversy that would hamstring the candidate.
KMT mayors, county magistrates, and legislators will take part in the process to decide the strongest candidate, Chu added. Chu did not say when the candidate would be picked.
Earlier this week, Chu described New Taipei City Mayor Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜) as the party's "strongest hen," which in Taiwanese political speak refers to a party's strongest candidate.
In 2015, the KMT’s Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), who was not considered the party’s strongest candidate, took part in the party's presidential primary and won, to the surprise of many. Hung was initially nominated as the KMT’s 2016 presidential candidate, but was later replaced amid controversy and as her poll numbers slid.
Taiwan's presidential election is set to be held on January 13, 2024. Vice President and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Lai Ching-te (賴清德) signed up for his party's primary last week, while former mayor of Taipei and Taiwan People's Party (TPP) Chair Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has also announced his intention to run in the election. Meanwhile, Foxconn Technology founder Terry Gou's (郭台銘) name has also been thrown around as a possible presidential candidate.