Hung over­comes hur­dle, more chal­lenges ahead

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY YUAN-MING CHIAO

Deputy Speaker Hung Hsi­uchu ( ) hand­ily ex­ceeded her party’s opin­ion poll re­quire­ments with re­sults pub­li­cized yes­ter­day at Kuom­intang ( KMT) head­quar­ters show­ing that she achieved an av­er­age of 46.2 per­cent fa­vor­a­bil­ity in two days of tele­phone polling.

While the out­come of the polling showed a clear victory for Hung, it still re­mains to be seen whether she will ul­ti­mately se­cure the party’s nom­i­na­tion, as the de­ci­sion lies with the party chair­man and Cen­tral Stand­ing Com­mit­tee (CSC).

If Hung does emerge as the nom­i­nee, it would set up the first pres­i­den­tial race be­tween two fe­male can­di­dates in Tai­wan, with Hung fac­ing off against Demo­cratic Pro­gres­sive Party (DPP) Chair­woman Tsai Ing-wen ( ).

Af­ter KMT Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral Lee Shu- chuan ( ) an­nounced the re­sults con­ducted on July 12 and 13 by three sep­a­rate polling com­pa­nies, he con­firmed that Hung had suc­cess­fully passed the 30-per­cent re­quire­ment to be­come the party’s pres­i­den­tial can­di­date.

Speak­ing af­ter the re­sults were made public, Hung ex­pressed her thanks to sup­port­ers, but em­pha­sized that she wanted those who did not sup­port her to give her time as well as an op­por­tu­nity to win them over.

“Our so­ci­ety to­day can­not be fur­ther split apart, can­not be pit against one an­other. I hope we can all unite un­der ‘the sun on a blue sky upon the red earth,’” she said, re­fer­ring to the color de­sign of the R.O.C. flag. “We have the R.O.C. ‘group’ and no other fac­tions.”

She also told her sup­port­ers not to give in to feel­ings of victory too quickly as many tests and chal­lenges lay ahead.

KMT Lead­ers Re­act Pos­i­tively

KMT Vice Chair­man and for­mer Taipei City Mayor Hau Lung-bin ( ) said that Hung’s rat­ings rep­re­sented that she had broad sup­port among Tai­wan’s public. He re­vealed that a meet­ing to au­dit the re­sults would take place Tues­day be­fore they are ap­proved by the CSC on Wed­nes­day.

Party Chair­man and New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu ( ) em­pha­sized that the KMT was now work­ing be­yond achiev­ing recog­ni­tion within the party, but the sup­port and recog­ni­tion of the en­tire pop­u­la­tion. Chu, who will re­turn to chair­ing the CSC weekly meet­ing on Wed­nes­day af­ter a twoweek ab­sence, reaf­firmed that the party’s pri­mary would con­tinue to run ac­cord­ing to party reg­u­la­tions.

Leg­isla­tive Speaker Wang Jin­pyng ( ) later tele­phoned Hung to congratulate her on pass­ing the opin­ion poll stage, but he de­clined to com­ment on his fu­ture in­ten­tions fol­low­ing his re­marks last week that he would be “obliged” to run for pres­i­dent if the party chose to draft him.

Tsai Con­grat­u­lates Hung

DPP Chair­woman Tsai also con­grat­u­lated Hung, stat­ing that she hoped she and Hung could achieve a new elec­tion cul­ture that would move away from per­sonal at­tacks.

Tsai also posted on her Face­book pro­file call­ing for Hung to sup­port the con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment to lower the vot­ing age to 18. Hung — as well as the KMT cau­cus — sup­ports the ini­tia­tive, but as part of a larger set of re­forms that have put them at log­ger­heads with the DPP.

The Way For­ward

Hung has al­ready taken the KMT pres­i­den­tial pri­mary be­yond tested wa­ters, with pre­vi­ous party nom­i­na­tions made as for­mal­i­ties af­ter a larger party con­sen­sus had been achieved. Be­fore her pol­icy plat­form speech given at the CSC last Wed­nes­day, she se­cured key endorsements from for­mer se­nior diplo­mats and na­tional se­cu­rity coun­cil mem­bers, with for­mer For­eign Min­is­ter Chen Chien-jen ( ) call­ing her cam­paign “a breath of fresh air.”

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