KMT hon­chos gather to dis­pel ‘re­place Hung’ mur­murs

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

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.

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