Hung steers clear of lat­est opin­ion poll spec­u­la­tions

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY YUAN-MING CHIAO

Deputy Leg­isla­tive Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (

), the only Kuom­intang ( KMT) mem­ber in the run­ning for the party’s pres­i­den­tial pri­mary re­acted con­ser­va­tively to an opin­ion poll re­leased yes­ter­day show­ing her ahead of Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) Chair­woman Tsai Ing-wen ( ) should the two face off in the Jan­uary 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

The opin­ion poll, con­ducted by the lo­cal Ap­ple Daily, showed that close to 55 per­cent of those polled sup­ported Hung as the KMT’s pres­i­den­tial can­di­date. In a sep­a­rate ques­tion pit­ting Hung against the con­firmed DPP con­tender Tsai, Hung fin­ished ahead, 50 per­cent to 28 per­cent for Tsai. An­other 21 per­cent of those polled said they had no opin­ion or did not know who they would vote for.

Hung re­sponded by say­ing that she would not be made op­ti­mistic or pes­simistic due to the re­sults of the opin­ion poll. She re­it­er­ated that since her can­di­dacy had yet to be ap­proved by the KMT Cen­tral Stand­ing Com­mit­tee, even if she were to be fi­nally nom­i­nated by the party, half a year’s time be­fore polling could bring many pos­si­ble changes.

Mean­while, mem­bers within the KMT’s higher ech­e­lons ex­pressed sus­pi­cion of the opin­ion poll re­sults, cit­ing the pos­si­bil­ity that the op­pos­ing po­lit­i­cal par­ties had dis­torted the polling re­sults. Ear­lier polls in re­cent days had shown Hung well be­hind Tsai in pop­u­lar­ity. In re­sponse to their sus­pi­cions, Hung re­marked with a smile: “Is it that easy to dis­tort a poll?”

Hung’s ris­ing pop­u­lar­ity in re­cent weeks has been seen as a quandary for the rul­ing KMT, with none of its so-called “A-list” party mem­bers, in­clud­ing chair­man Eric Chu ( ) and Leg­isla­tive Speaker Wang Jin-pyng ( ) hav­ing backed out of en­ter­ing the party pri­mary. Hung was the first party mem­ber to reg­is­ter in April, and the only one to sub­mit a suf­fi­cient num­ber of valid party mem­ber signatures re­quired for a chance in rep­re­sent­ing the party.

Early con­flicts be­tween Hung and her party in­cluded the ques­tions within the opin­ion poll to be con­ducted by the KMT to val­i­date her can­di­dacy. Party cen­tral has pro­posed that the poll be con­ducted as a face­off be­tween Hung and Tsai, while Hung has protested that no­tion, fa­vor­ing one that gauged the public’s sup­port for her ca­pac­ity as the KMT’s only con­tender. She has also faced foot-drag­ging from party head­quar­ters, which only re­cently agreed af­ter ex­ten­sive ne­go­ti­a­tions to al­low Hung to present her po­lit­i­cal plat­form to the Cen­tral Stand­ing Com­mit­tee and con­duct a party-run opin­ion poll to gauge her elec­toral chances. She ac­cused the party of con­tra­dic­tions be­tween its words and ac­tions, ex­claim­ing that “chang­ing the rules in the mid­dle of a match? That’s not fair.” Party leader Chu said yes­ter­day that the al­lo­ca­tion ra­tio of the fi­nal opin­ion poll could still be dis­cussed with Hung.

Hung is ex­pected to present her plat­form pub­li­cally on June 10, with the fi­nal opin­ion poll or­ga­nized by the party to be held on June 12 and 13.

CNA

Deputy Leg­isla­tive Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu ( ) speaks to re­porters at the Leg­is­la­ture, yes­ter­day. An opin­ion poll con­ducted by lo­cal me­dia showed Hung well ahead of Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) Chair­woman Tsai Ing-wen ( ) should the two face­off in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

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