Analysts hold split views on Han's selection of running mate

11/11/2019 11:11 PM
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Han Kuo-yu and Chang San-cheng
Han Kuo-yu and Chang San-cheng

Taipei, Nov. 11 (CNA) Analysts and observers on Monday gave different views of Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu's (韓國瑜) selection of former Premier Chang San-cheng (張善政) as his running mate in the 2020 presidential election.

Han, who was nominated by the Kuomintang (KMT) as its presidential nominee, on Monday announced Chang, a former Google executive who served as premier from February to May 2016 at the end of the Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) administration, as his running mate in the January 2020 election.

The duo complement each other's strengths and weaknesses as Han can continue to focus on the average voter and young people while Chang can deal with the technology and industrial sectors, and vie for the support of the business community and better-educated pro-KMT pan-blue voters, an analyst from Han's camp said.

Aside from that, Chang can also act as Han's "double" to attend campaign activities, said the analyst, who requested not to be named. Prior to this, Han has usually been represented by his wife Lee Chia-fen (李佳芬) whenever he has had a tight schedule.

Jang Chyi-Lu (張其祿), dean of the College of Social Science at National Sun Yat-sen University, argued in an interview with CNA, however, that the Han-Chang tandem has no "bright spot."

"It looks like Han's selection of Chang as his running mate can change nothing," the professor said. "It seems more like a promotion for Chang and is an expected development," he said.

Chang has been Han's leading national policy adviser since August when Han formed his 100-member advisory team.

Many of Han's policies are not well thought out, Jang said, and he did not see a trend in which highly educated voters who usually support the pan-blue KMT camp will turn to Han just because Chang is on the ticket.

Citing Han's campaign promise of providing interest-free student loans and mortgages with 40-year repayment periods as examples, Jang said Han has made unrealistic pledges, ignoring structural issues that have a bigger impact on student debt and home buying.

Taking a similar view, Weng Ming-jang (翁銘章), a professor at National University of Kaohsiung, contended that the selection of Chang did not match Han's previous announcement that he will pick an expert in finance and economics, since Chang is a tech expert.

Because of this, it will be difficult for Chang to attract votes for Han, Weng said, adding that Chang has looked more like a scapegoat for Han as he has had to perform damage control for the Kaohsiung mayor whenever he has made controversial remarks.

(By Yu Hsiang, Wang Shu-fen and Emerson Lim)


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