KMT’s Chu con­firms he will not be run­ning for pres­i­dent

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY KATHER­INE WEI

Kuom­intang (KMT) Chair­man Eric Chu ( ) con­firmed yes­ter­day that he would not be run­ning for pres­i­dent in the 2016 elec­tions, and that he was ex­pect­ing tal­ented KMT mem­bers to par­tic­i­pate ac­tively in the race.

“I won’t be run­ning for pres­i­dent in 2016, OK?” Chu was heard telling the me­dia yes­ter­day.

Chu made the re­marks af­ter the me­dia asked him if he was con­sid­er­ing run­ning for the top spot yes­ter­day. “There is no such thing. My at­ti­tude has al­ways been clear, I will do my best as the mayor and fin­ish my term,” said Chu, who was also the in­cum­bent mayor of New Taipei.

He was re-elected only last Novem­ber.

“As for the in­tra­party nom­i­na­tions for the pres­i­den­tial and leg­is­la­tor elec­tions, (I) would be the ref­eree and the coach, hop­ing the good and tal­ented peo­ple will join the races ac­tively,” said Chu.

When asked about Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) Chair­woman Tsai Ing-wen’s ( ) re­cent an­nounce­ment to run for pres­i­dent, Chu said that he did not watch Tsai’s tele­vised speech and that he would look into it when he had the op­por­tu­nity.

Tsai’s speech was seen to tar­get cer­tain groups in so­ci­ety, in­clud­ing the younger gen­er­a­tion of vot­ers.

“We also hope that more tal­ented young peo­ple will join the leg­is­la­tor elec­tions this time, so we are scout­ing for tal­ents in dif­fer­ent places, and wel­come them to join the KMT,” said Chu.

Chu waved away ru­mors that the KMT would be re­cruit­ing “beau­ti­ful as­sas­sins” to run in the leg­is­la­tor elec­tions, say­ing that the party would be look­ing for a va­ri­ety of peo­ple.

Tsai De­clines to Com­ment

Tsai said yes­ter­day that she did not have any com­ments to of­fer “at this stage” re­gard­ing Chu’s re­marks.

On a visit to Tainan Mayor Wil­liam Lai ( ) yes­ter­day, Tsai said that Chu’s de­ci­sion not to run for pres­i­dent was “the KMT’s pri­vate is­sues,” she would be re­spond­ing only af­ter the rul­ing party has de­cided its of­fi­cial can­di­date.

“What I am do­ing now is pre­par­ing my­self, fol­low­ing the cur­rent plans and steps lead­ing up to the elec­tions, lis­ten­ing to the peo­ple’s voices and ex­chang­ing opin­ions with them,” said Tsai. Should she be elected in the fu­ture, her poli­cies and the in­for­ma­tion gath­ered in this pe­riod would be at their most ef­fi­cient.

KMT’s Po­ten­tial Can­di­date Ques­tions Chu’s Re­marks

Deputy Leg­isla­tive Yuan Speaker Hong Hsiu-chu ( ) said yes­ter­day that she “did not think Chu’s re­marks were an of­fi­cial an­nounce­ment.”

“Maybe he was just impatient with all the ques­tions,” said Hong, who al­legedly wished to run for pres­i­dent.

“When Chu does make a de­ci­sion, it should be un­der of­fi­cial and solemn cir­cum­stances. This would be more re­spect­ful to the me­dia and his sup­port­ers ... it doesn’t mat­ter if he is run­ning or not, if he speaks the rea­son, ev­ery­one will be able to un­der­stand his dif­fi­cul­ties,” said Hong.

KMT Cau­cus Hints for

Re­con­sid­er­a­tion

“What Chair­man Chu said is his sub­jec­tive opin­ion at the mo­ment, but as the chair­man of the rul­ing party, he should con­sider the ob­jec­tive sit­u­a­tion as well,” said KMT cau­cus whip Lai Shyh-bao ( ) yes­ter­day.

“Many among the KMT are ex­tremely hope­ful that Chu would be fight­ing this battle,” said Lai. KMT Leg­is­la­tor Wu Yu-sheng (

) said that the KMT should re­spect Chu’s ul­ti­mate de­ci­sion when the is­sue is grave. “We know we may be giv­ing him a hard time, but we want to fully ex­tend our sup­port to him with­out mak­ing it dif­fi­cult,” said Wu.

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