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DPP's Tsai congratulates KMT's presidential hopeful

2015/06/14 16:44:33

DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen, CNA file photo.

Taipei, June 14 (CNA) Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), the chairwoman and presidential candidate of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), offered words of encouragement to her possible contender from the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) Sunday after Hung passed primary polls.

"We bless her," Tsai said as asked by media reporters about Hung's passing the 30 percent presidential primary poll threshold with an average approval rating of 46.203 percent earlier in the day.

The passage qualified the 67-year-old deputy legislative speaker to be nominated as the KMT's presidential candidate for the election in January 2016.

However, Tsai, who was on a visit to Yilan County for an educational conference, declined to make more comments on the matter.

Meanwhile, while congratulating Hung on the primary result, DPP spokesman Cheng Yun-peng (鄭運鵬) said his party will follow its planned election deployments, preparing itself to be ready in full battle array.

With an approval rating close to 50 percent, Hung, the only candidate in the KMT's primary, is almost certain to win the party's nomination, unless it changes its mind and drafts a different candidate rather than accept the primary result.

There has been speculation that the KMT would draft Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), a KMT heavyweight who has served the post since 1999, to be its presidential candidate.

Wang responded last week to reporters' questions about a possible KMT draft, saying "I'd be duty bound" to run if drafted as the party's 2016 presidential candidate.

After the conclusion of the KMT's primary Sunday, Wang declined to make comments when asked if there is now a necessity for the KMT to impose a draft. He only said "that is what the party will need to decide on," while sending his congratulations to Hung.

The KMT is scheduled to host a national party convention on July 19 to finalize the presidential nomination. Hung said she would continue to campaign in an effort to win over people who are not yet familiar with her political views.

(By Lu Hsin-hui, Chen Wei-ting, Cheng Chi-fong and Elizabeth Hsu)
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