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Hung 'forced to accept' KMT's decision to replace her

2015/10/17 17:17:05

Taipei, Oct. 17 (CNA) Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) said Saturday that she will reluctantly accept the decision of the ruling Kuomintang replace her as its 2016 presidential candidate, even though she does not approve of the decision.

Hung, who was replaced by KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) as the party's presidential candidate, said that despite the "highly controversial" procedural move, she will remain loyal to the KMT.

"The party may give up on me, but I will never give up on the party," she said to resounding applause in her address at a special party congress, which was held Saturday to rescind her presidential candidacy.

Hung said she was "forced to accept" the decision by the KMT congress to nullify her presidential candidacy.

The decision to replace her with Chu apparently was based on her poor showing in the public opinion polls in the four months since she was confirmed as the KMT's candidate for the January 16 presidential election.

In her speech, Hung reminded the congress that the party was in tatters after the drubbing it took in last November's local government elections and that none of the KMT's heavyweights were willing to enter the presidential race after that. Hung said she was the one who stepped forward because she worried that a major party like the KMT, founded more than a century ago, could not present a presidential candidate.

She said that she overcame many hurdles to become the first KMT presidential candidate ever produced via a democratic primary.

She also defended her position on cross-strait relations, saying that while the 1992 consensus had contributed greatly to an improvement in exchanges between Taiwan and China, the ties remained fragile and she wanted to see further improvement.

That was her reason for advocating a cross-strait peace agreement, Hung said.

Hung, who had vowed to remain in the presidential race to the end, said she was worried about the legitimacy of the KMT procedure to revoke her candidacy.

"Some have said that this party congress is being held to replace me, but I do not agree. I think, this party congress is being held so that I can seek support among the delegates" to remain as the KMT presidential candidate, Hung said. Some 891 party delegates attended the KMT congress Saturday.

(By Lee Hsu-hua and Lilian Wu)