KMT honchos gather to dispel ‘replace Hung’ murmurs
The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) attempted last week to dispel speculation that presidential candidate and Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (
) would be replaced, with a gathering of party and business stalwarts.
In a show of unity, President Ma Ying-jeou, Vice President Wu Denyih ( ) and KMT Chairman and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu ( ) joined Hung on stage during a ceremony in which overseas Taiwanese businesses formed a campaign support group for her. Legislative Speaker and party heavyweight Wang Jin-pyng (
) did not attend the rally. Members of the Chinese Cross-Strait Taiwan Businesses Development and Research Forum (
) called for 800 business heads to back Hung’s campaign.
“Are we really untransparent? What we stand for is antipopulism!” Hung said to cheering crowds as she chastised the oppo- sition party’s negative stance toward trade in services and goods agreements with China, the establishment of free economic pilot zones, and the recent high school curriculum guidelines.
Ma let loose a smile after a supporter in the crowd shouted “down with Wang Jin- pyng” which made Hung pause briefly during her 20-minute speech. The president led the crowd in the shouting of slogans in support of Hung, and introduced her as the “KMT’s presidential candidate” to display his endorsement. Wang later laughed off the remark, saying that he was not that “great” to require a takedown.
Hung said that in order for the KMT to remain in power, it must cast a wide net in order to win back popular support. While adding that she did not take personal issue with those who want to replace her, Hung said that her withdrawal from the race would hurt pan-blue supporters, push away swing voters, much to the delight of the opposition.