Taiwan‘s ruling party to change presidential candidate for election

Oct 07, 2015, 08:45 am

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By Hong Soon-do, Beijing correspondent, AsiaToday - Taiwan's ruling Nationalist Party (Kuomintang or KMT) plans to cheat since it's likely to lose in the January presidential election. The leadership of KMT, which picked Hung Hsiu-chu as its candidate in July for the presidential elections in January 2016, plans to name KMT Chairman and Xinbei mayor Eric Chu as another candidate. Eric Chu enjoys high popularity within the party, however he had already declared to drop out of the January race. It is not an illegal move, but it's definitely against the rules.

Eric Chu (center), Chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT), and Hung Hsiu-chu (left), the ruling KMT presidential candidate, attend the KMT's party congress in Taipei in July. The KMT has potentially more to lose by replacing its candidate./ Source from search engine Baidu.

Sources have confirmed on Tuesday that the leadership of KMT's such decision is due to Hung's low popularity. Since July, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen has been leading with a support rate of nearly 50%, followed by Hung with nearly 30%. At the moment, it seems almost impossible to reverse the situation since the DPP candidate is far ahead of the KMT candidate with a margin of nearly 20 percentage points. For Kuomintang, a special action needs to be taken. The leadership has urged Hung to drop out of the race, while sending a love call to Eric Chu. Its tricks are likely to be confirmed KMT's central standing committee's weekly meeting on Wednesday.

Besides, if Chu takes over from Hung, next year's presidential selection may not be so predictable. Maybe, Chu could win dramatically. It would be the best result for KMT, who has been experiencing the bitterness of defeat so far. However, criticism on the party is a significant burden. Even among the KMT supporters are criticizing the move.

Hung's resistance is also expected. It's natural for her because she has been confirmed as a candidate after going through primary election. Besides, if she breaks away from the party with a dissatisfaction over the replacement and stands as an independent, things will be much tougher for KMT. 

#Taiwans ruling party #Kuomintang #KMT #Hung Hsiu-chu #Eric Chu 
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