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Former legislative speaker announces presidential bid

2019/03/07 16:05:27

Former Legislative Yuan Speaker and current lawmaker Wang Jinping (王金平, front, center)

Taipei, March 7 (CNA) Former Legislative Yuan Speaker and current lawmaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) announced his bid Thursday to run for president in 2020.

"I decided to stand up and lead all walks of life to display Taiwan's strength," Wang told a news conference held at the Taipei International Convention Center.

"Taiwan is an indispensable part of the world and we must allow the whole world to see its contributions," he said. "Without Taiwan's technology R&D and productivity, Apple Inc. would be unable to produce its iPhones," he pointed out.

"If I'm given a four-year term, I'm confident that I can lead the country and make Taiwan shine on the world stage," he said.

Taiwan is the pride of all Chinese around the world and the future of the Chinese people, he went on, vowing to end the hostility between Taiwan and China. "Otherwise," he said, "the two sides will end up at war."

Wang also promised to adopt a sound energy policy, terminate ideological strife and labor-management conflicts and create a healthy investment environment in Taiwan, all of which he said have led to the country's stagnation.

Nearly 300 people, including representatives of different sectors and politicians, attended the news conference as a gesture of support for Wang.

To achieve his ambition, Wang will have to face fierce competition from within his party, as several key members have shown willingness to vie for the party's nomination, including former New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫).

Last month, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party told CNN during an exclusive interview that she will run for re-election in the presidential race scheduled for early next year.

To field the contender with the best chance of winning, the KMT has decided to hold its primary based on a 70-30 weighing of public polls and party member votes, although it has not ruled out the possibility of drafting the strongest candidate in an all-out effort to win back power.

Later Thursday, Chu said in a radio interview that he is confident he can beat Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), an independent politician and the favorite for president, according to several polls conducted in the past.

However, according to the results of a public opinion poll just released by the Want Want China Times Group, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) would outperform Ko by a 9-percentage-point margin, with Chu over Ko by a 5-percentage-point margin if Ko decides to throw his hat into the ring.

Asked whether he would back Han if the Kaohsiung mayor is determined by the KMT to be the strongest hopeful, Chu said he will certainly fully support the candidate nominated by the party, no matter who is chosen.

Chu also offered Wang his best wishes for his presidential bid.

(By Liu Kuan-ting and Flor Wang)
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