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KMT presidential candidate leaves fate to party congress

2015/10/09 23:15:52

Taipei, Oct. 9 (CNA) Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱), presidential candidate of Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang (KMT), said Friday that she will leave the party's special congress to decide whether to replace her.

Wang Fong-wei (王鴻薇), a spokeswoman of Hung's campaign office, said that KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) sent a text message to Hung earlier that day and Hung was responding to it.

Wang said that Hung, in a return text message, said that she bears no complaints, no remorse or hatred and that she will "respect the resolution of the party's Central Standing Committee," and "will leave the matter to the decision of the special congress."

The KMT Central Standing Committee passed a resolution unanimously Wednesday to convene an extraordinary party congress later this month to deliberate a proposal to replace Hung.

Hung, who was nominated by the party on July 19, has not been able to narrow the wide gap between her and opposition Democratic Progressive Party rival Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in public opinion polls.

Wang said that Hung will continue to work to communicate with party delegates before the party congress to convey her ideals for taking part in the election and to solicit their support.

Hung's attitude was consistent with her statement after the Central Standing Committee meeting two days earlier, in which Hung said that she believes the party delegates "will defend the integrity and differentiate between right and wrong as the party should have," according to Wang.

Chu has talked to Hung frankly recently about the uphill battle faced by the party as well as the party's candidates in the legislative race, also to be held on the same day as the presidential election on Jan. 16, 2016.

The legislative candidates fear that they are more likely to lose the legislative elections with Hung as the standard bearer.

Despite mounting calls to replace Hung or for her to step down voluntarily, Hung herself has said repeatedly that she planned to stay in the race.

Hung posted on her Facebook page Friday evening that she feels blue as she sees the nation shrouded in blue over the past few years, but she will more firmly defend the values and ideals that the KMT should stand for.

Chairman Chu said Friday that he will have a formal explanation when asked if he will follow the step of KMT Secretary General Lee Shu-chuan (李四川) to apologize to Hung for such a conundrum Friday.

Chu expressed admiration for Hung for her efforts over the past few months, noting that during recent meetings with Hung, he has stressed that it was him who has not worked hard and done enough in communications.

But he said that he will give a formal statement in his capacity as party chairman in the special party congress.

He also said that the holding of a special congress is aimed at galvanizing a consensus, and this is the consensus forging period.

He said he will not answer a hypothetical question about whether he will replace Hung and take part in the presidential election in his concurrent duty as New Taipei mayor and party chairman.

Chu said that he hoped to communicate with Hung over the past few days, but Hung has told him that she needs time to think quietly.

Chu reiterated that "we are a family," and he needs to report to and discuss with Hung on the special congress.

(By Kelven Huang, Justin Su and Lilian Wu)