Hung vows to bring KMT back on the road to victory
Policy speech at party HQ aims to resuscitate flagging morale
Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu- chu ( ) on Wednesday vowed to take the Kuomintang (KMT) to victory in the 2016 presidential election in a highly scrutinized speech delivered at the party’s Central Standing Committee, in which she outlined her vision to bring the befuddled ruling party back to the hearts of the nation’s voters. With a two-day opinion poll run by the party to gauge her eligibility as presidential candidate looming, Hung’s speech was her last good chance to rally last-minute support.
In her 20- minute speech called “The Road,” the 67-yearold Hung touched upon crossstrait relations, energy policy, trade pacts and other topics. The main thrust of her attack, however, targeted the KMT’s establishment thinking and what had caused the ruling party to lose its supporters.
“We must ask ourselves: Have we blurred over what should remain clear, compromised over what we should remain steadfast on, appeased on the inappeasable, and given up on what we must hold on to?” she asked a packed meeting room in the KMT headquarters.
Accuses DPP of Warping
While she tied the ruling party’s apathy to its cowering from core party values, Hung also argued that Taiwan’s process of democratization had been made into a tool in a struggle against China’s 1.3 billion people. She also accused the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) of masking its proindependence stance under the packaging of “maintaining the
Proposes Peace Pact with China
The sole registrant to the KMT’s oft-uncertain presidential primary also proposed the signing of a peace accord with China in order to guarantee cross-strait peace and open up opportunities for Taiwan’s international space. She also advocated creating the measures possible to attract more talent to the island in higher education while continuing the current administration’s call to join regional trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Dark Horse Credentials Touted
Hung, whose underdog campaign was initially seen as an upstart sideshow vis-a-vis the greater whims of the more influential party heavyweights, made an impassioned attempt to characterize herself as a loyal party member outside the privileged inner circle. Her increased popularity in recent weeks has so far foiled attempts by higher level party members to scrap her campaign.
“I want to tell the people of Taiwan that I am the poorest of all presidential contender’s in (Taiwan’s) history, and I know what it’s like to have nothing to eat,” she said, while also referencing her father’s imprisonment during Taiwan’s White Terror era in the 1950s. Hung’s mother worked overtime, but her family was forced to separate due to economic hardship.
“God placed me in this family, forced me to work hard, and forced me even harder not to give up on myself.”
She concluded by calling attention to the fact that the KMT is a party that has given opportunities to the poor, and was convinced that if given another chance, she could lead the party toward the ultimate objective of victory.
Deputy Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu, top center, addresses the Kuomintang Central Standing Committee on Wednesday in Taipei. Speaking days before an opinion poll that will largely determine her eligibility to run as the party’s presidential candidate, Hung sought to steer the ailing party to its more salient values in order to secure electoral victory in 2016.