KMT members try to keep door open for Chu run
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.