KMT mem­bers try to keep door open for Chu run

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Kuom­intang (KMT) Chair­man and New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu ( ) has said re­peat­edly that he will not run in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, but that has not stopped KMT mem­bers from try­ing to keep his op­tions open.

Chou Sheng- kao, the KMT’s cau­cus whip in the New Taipei City Coun­cil, said he hoped Chu will “lis­ten to public opin­ion,” and if the public wants him to en­ter the race, Chou said, “Chu has to jump in.”

Chu, who would likely be the KMT’s most com­pet­i­tive can­di­date in the 2016 elec­tion if he were to run, has spelled out on many oc­ca­sions that he will com­plete his sec­ond may­oral term, which did not begin un­til De­cem­ber 2014 and will not ex­pire un­til De­cem­ber 2018.

When Chu was pressed by the me­dia in mid-April on whether he would keep his prom­ise to serve out his term, Chu an­swered in an un­usu­ally di­rect tone, “I will not run in 2016. Is that good enough for you?”

De­spite the KMT chair­man’s stance, KMT mem­bers con­tinue to ap­peal to Chu to take part in the race, in which the KMT is con­sid­ered a big un­der­dog af­ter it suf­fered a ma­jor de­feat in lo­cal elec­tions in Novem­ber 2014 fu­eled by the low pop­u­lar­ity of Pres­i­dent Ma Ying-jeou’s KMT ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Chou said he will col­lect an ap- pli­ca­tion form for the KMT pres­i­den­tial pri­mary on Chu’s be­half and pay the re­quired se­cu­rity de­posit of NT$2 mil­lion (US$64,000).

He and New Taipei City Coun­cil Speaker Chi­ang Ken-huang, also a KMT mem­ber, will “take care of” the de­posit.

It can be re­im­bursed as long as the ap­pli­cant com­pletes the reg­is­tra­tion process, which re­quires fill­ing out the ap­pli­ca­tion form and col­lect­ing the en­dorse­ment of at least 5 per­cent of the KMT’s 300,000 mem­bers.

Asked about Chou’s move to get Chu to run, Lin Chieh-yu, direc­tor of the New Taipei City In­for­ma­tion Depart­ment, de­clined to com­ment.

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