Tsai expects defamation-free campaign
Taiwanese presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen ( ) said Sunday that she expects to run a defamation-free campaign with Hung Hsiuchu ( ) if Hung can be nominated as the ruling Kuomintang’s presidential candidate.
Tsai, who is also chairwoman of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), offered her congratulations and best wishes to Hung, who surpassed the 30-percent threshold in the KMT’s presidential primary polls on Sunday.
Tsai expects to create a “new” election culture with Hung that will be different from elections in the past, which were criticized for candidates often hurling defamatory comments against each other, she told the press on the sidelines of a local campaign for a DPP legislature candidate.
Tsai also expressed hope that Hung could leverage her position as the deputy legislative speaker to persuade KMT lawmakers not to block the DPP’s proposal to lower the threshold for the entitlement to civil rights to 18 years of age from the current 20.
Hung passed the requisite threshold in the KMT presidential primary polls on Sunday with an average approval rating of 46.203 percent, qualifying her to be nominated as the party’s presidential candidate for the January 2016 election.
The polls were organized by Trengo and Statinc consultancies and the United Daily News, each of which collected more than 1,200 valid samples.
Each poll measured Hung’s approval ratings running alone and against Tsai. The final results were an average of the two scenarios in the three polls.
The KMT is scheduled to host a national party convention on July 19 to finalize its presidential nomination.
Pundits Weigh In
that Hung’s idealist personality, clear policy proposals and the sentiment among KMT supporters helped her pass the ruling party’s primary poll threshold, pundits said on Sunday.
Hung passed the 30 percent threshold in the KMT’s three presidential primary polls that morning, with an average approval rating of 46.203 percent.
Hung’s idealist personality inspired many supporters and she clearly proposed a vision of the nation’s development, including the signing of a peace agreement with the Beijing regime, helping her to win more supporters, said Chang Ya-chung ( ), a political science professor at the National Taiwan University.
Hung’s biggest challenge, Chang said, is whether she can challenge and change the populist self-centered ideas and opinions held over the past 10 to 20 years in Taiwan within half a year by January next year.
For instance, signing a peace agreement with Beijing is a key to maintaining long- term peaceful development of crossTaiwan Strait relations, but what is needed more, a consensus between Taipei and Beijing or a consensus within Taiwan, Chang questioned.
The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party nominated its chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (
) as its 2016 presidential candidate in April and she recently finished a 12-day visit to the United States, making KMT supporters hope that the ruling party would find its own candidate soon, said Fu Hung-der ( ), a political science professor of Tunghai University.
The so- called KMT heavyweights’ hesitation and cowardice in failing to run in the primary also drove party members to support Hung and help her pass the primary poll threshold, according to KMT sources.