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New KMT chairmanship bid announced

2017/01/12 14:41:41

Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Corp. (TAPMC) President Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) at a press conference Thursday.

Taipei, Jan. 12 (CNA) Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Corp. (TAPMC) President Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) announced Thursday that he will run for the chairmanship of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT).

Han made the announcement at a press conference a day after he said he had tendered his resignation from his TAPMC post.

Shortly after making the announcement, Han turned round and hugged a stack of cabbages placed behind him, saying that it was a symbolic gesture of him embracing public opinion.

The former politician known for his combative style said he has never ignored public opinion at the grassroots level over the past few years, and that if the KMT does not take grassroots public opinion seriously, it will lose the support of this sector.

Earlier that day, Han said in a statement issued to unveil his election bid that he was willing to run for mayor in Tainan or Kaohsiung in local elections set for 2018 if no suitable KMT candidates step forward.

"Give me the place to stand, and I shall move the earth," Han said, quoting Greek mathematician Archimedes. He added that he will reform the entire KMT and give Taiwan a "healthy political party."

The former three-term lawmaker also proposed that the KMT put all of its assets into trust and deal with issues related to its assets through legal process.

He also said that if he is elected KMT chairman, he will make its party assets transparent.

Han also called for party reform, suggesting that the party's structure be streamlined into four departments: chairman's office, organizational department, public opinion/policy-making/public relations department and overseas liaison department.

Han, 59, is the fourth hopeful to enter the race after former Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), KMT Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and incumbent KMT Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱).

When he was a member of the Legislative Yuan in the 1990s, he once physically attacked fellow lawmaker Chen Shui-bian, who became president of Taiwan in May 2000. At the time, Han claimed he became aggressive to counter the violent behavior of Chen's colleagues in the then-opposition Democratic Progressive Party.

The KMT election is slated for May 20.

(By Yiu Kai-hsiang and Evelyn Kao)
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