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4 candidates register to run for KMT chairmanship

2016/02/22 18:47:27

Taipei, Feb. 22 (CNA) Four Kuomintang (KMT) members registered Monday their candidacy for the party's chairperson by-election, including acting KMT Chairperson Huang Min-hui (黃敏惠) and former Deputy Legislative Speaker Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱).

With Huang and Hung's high popularity, the by-election, scheduled to take place March 26, is likely to become a race between the two women, observers from the party said.

The other two who completed their candidacy registrations are Legislator Chen Shei-saint (陳學聖) and Taipei City Councilor Lee Hsin (李新).

Each person seeking to take part in the by-election is required to collect at least 9,600 valid endorsement signatures from party members to become a candidate, according to the KMT. On Monday, all four delivered a collection of signatures surpassing 20,000 each.

The signatures, however, have to be checked by the party's screening committee between Feb. 23-25 to determine whether they are valid, because some of them could be rendered null for various reasons, such as having been obtained from disqualified party members.

The screening committee will announce Feb. 26 which of the four hopefuls are qualified to run in the by-election, the KMT said.

The ruling party has to elect a new leader after Eric Chu (朱立倫) resigned as chairman to take full responsibility for the party's defeat in the Jan. 16 presidential and legislative elections.

Although the term of the next KMT chairman will last for less than 18 months, the by-election has drawn a lot of attention because the next party head will be crucial in leading party reforms in the next one-and-a-half years.

(By Claudia Liu and Elizabeth Hsu)