KMT presidential candidates register for January 2020 election

11/18/2019 05:48 PM
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Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜, front row, center) and his running mate Chang San-cheng (張善政, right)
Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜, front row, center) and his running mate Chang San-cheng (張善政, right)

Taipei, Nov. 18 (CNA) Kuomintang (KMT) presidential candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) and his running mate Chang San-cheng (張善政) on Monday registered at the Central Election Commission (CEC) for the January 2020 election.

After completing the registration process around 11:30 a.m., Han told reporters at the CEC he would like to see a clean election campaign that would highlight the level of democracy in Taiwan.

"Former Premier Chang and I want to fight a clean, civil, healthy, and beautiful presidential campaign," said Han, who was elected mayor of Kaohsiung in November 2018.

Han, 62, has been complaining of mudslinging by other political parties since he declared his presidential bid in June.

On the question of his campaign strategy to close the double-digit gap in the opinion polls with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), Han said that unlike Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), he does not think public opinion polls are a good indicator of who will win elections.

"For me, the one who wins the people's heart will win the election," he said. President Tsai will win only if the Taiwanese people think they are living a good life, Han said, adding that he will win if the people think otherwise.

Han also urged overseas Taiwanese to return home to vote, as "2020 will be a decisive year for Taiwan's survival."

Also speaking to reporters, former Premier Chang said he and Han will be presenting their policies and platforms in the coming weeks.

Voters should set aside preconceived ideas on the matter of independence or unification with China and focus instead on policies that will create a better future for Taiwan, Chang said.

"Long-term care, education, youth projects and digital programs are policies we will be announcing soon and which we believe can lead Taiwan into a bright future," said Chang, a former Google executive.

Han rose to fame with an upset victory in last year's mayoral election in Kaohsiung, a DPP stronghold for more than two decades.

Prior to that election, he had served as a county councilor and legislator in the now defunct Taipei County in 1990s. He took a break from politics in early 2000 and returned in 2006, when he was appointed as vice mayor of Zhonghe City, which is now a New Taipei district.

In January 2013, Han assumed the position of general manager of Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Corporation and resigned in January 2017 to run for chairman of the KMT.

Chang, meanwhile, is a U.S. educated engineer who entered politics in 2012 as minister without portfolio then went on to become science and technology minister, vice premier, and premier in the former KMT administration.

Chang, 65, declared his intention in February to run for president as an independent but decided in July to join Han's campaign as a national policy adviser.

Also on Monday, People First Party candidates James Soong (宋楚瑜) and Sandra Yu (余湘) registered for the Jan. 11, 2020 presidential election, which is a three-way race.

Speaking to reporters after the registration, former Taiwan Governor and PFP Chairman Soong said that if he wins, his will bring to bear his four decades of expertise and experience in diplomacy, cross-strait affairs and national security to help to make a Taiwan better place.

Soong, 77, who is making his fourth run for president since 2000, reiterated that the January election will be his last political race.

He also said he is not worried that he and his running mate, Yu (余湘), former chairwoman of the advertising firm United Communications Group, are now trailing far behind the other contenders, as shown by the a United Daily News (UDN) poll released early Monday.

"We will get better and receive more support (as election day draws near)," Soong told reporters.

The UDN poll shows President Tsai in the lead in the three-way-race, with 45 percent support, followed by Han with 29 percent, and Soong 8 percent.

Although Han is lagging behind Tsai by double digits, the KMT candidates are seen as tough challengers to the DPP ticket, which is represented by President Tsai and her former Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德).

(By Emerson Lim and Joseph Yeh)


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